Good mental health matters because it’s fundamental to our sense of wellbeing.
One of the five evidence based NHS principles to step away from stress and build on mental well-being is BEING ACTIVE
Being active naturally enhances physical wellbeing but actually has a direct impact on our mental wellbeing too. No matter what our age or fitness level, a modest amount can make a huge difference. Have you ever noticed how your body feels when you are stressed? Perhaps tight muscles, knots in your stomach, shallow breathing. Exercise will not only break this cycle it will also promote endorphins, our feel good hormones. Get moving, pay attention to the rhythm of your breathing and release stress.
HOW DOES BEING ACTIVE HELP IN A WORK CONTEXT?
Research shows that professionals who punctuate their day with exercise are more productive. Well-maintained energy levels throughout the day means less mid-afternoon slumps and greater focus.
HOW TO ENCOURAGE KEEPING ACTIVE
Ways to encourage physical activity at work are endless to name a few:
- Walking meetings not only encourages physical activity but introduces new scenery which inspires new ideas. Fresh air, movement, creativity and new solutions
- Consider making it clear that anyone can block off an hour for exercise during the day, providing it doesn’t conflict with meetings and time is made up later
- Resource and host a company exercise club such as running, walking or even yoga.
- Challenge yourself to walk when you can, whether it be a few tube stops from the office or in-between floors. At lunchtime brighten your day with fresh air and an invigorating walk outside.
- If your company has introduced an exercise initiative what’s stopping you?
- Use your leisure time doing physical activity – developing a routine can have a direct impact on your self-esteem and stress levels.
“The mind can’t function unless your body is working properly – but it also works the other way. The state of your mind affects your body. So, when we feel low or anxious, we may do less. Most of us feel good when we are active.”