Improve your mental health outdoors

Mental Health – Better Mental Health For You 

World Mental Health Day is 10th October which is great to see that people are been made more aware of the subject.  Looking after your mental health has never been more important and relevant 

Fresh Air, community, social, weight loss, fun and getting fitter are all aspects that can give you better mental health, or as I like quote, "a better state of mind" Personally, if I have a bad day, feel stressed, or lethargic doing a workout or class, training outdoors or going for run really helps with clearing the mind and producing hormones to make me feel great and energised. I am not a medical professional, but in my opinion group outdoor exercise and running in groups play a huge role in helping reduce depression whilst maintaining and improving your mental health and well-being

So why is outdoor group training good for your mental health?

Being Outdoors 

Working indoors all day, lack of movement and being unable to go outdoors as much as you like can lead to you feeling tired, lethargic, potentially moody, and not as healthy as you would like to be. Moving outdoors, walking, running and group training can be very beneficial in tackling these problems. Fresh air is vital and important for you. Being outdoors can give you higher levels of oxygen and lower the amounts of pollution which is now getting harder and harder to avoid. Being outdoors can help you feel revitalised, fresher, and clearer in your mind and mindset. 

Reducing Stress 

Stress can be silent or you may feel it physical, mentally and go through stress in many's  different ways and levels. You may not feel stressed, but your body could be  under stress. You could feel you are under pressure which cause stress levels to rise. Stress can be caused for many reasons (Which are not for most of the time your fault) from work pressure, lack of sleep, worrying, anxiety, poor diet, social media, lack of movement and many other reasons. 

Being part of a group training outdoors to running community, whilst all in a safe environment can really aid in reducing stress levels. This in turn can help with sleep and overall feeling better within and about yourself

Avoiding Isolation 

Sometimes being on your own you can feel isolated and alone. This isn’t always the case but getting out amongst people can really help with this. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs talks about belongingness. Belonging is a huge part in everyday society’s needs. Training and exercising in groups can play a huge part in helping if you ever feel isolated. We have no judgement of anyone and recently it was said "I like coming here as there is no intimidation when attending classes like other places I have trained" We are a like-minded community and inclusive for all.

Anxiety 

Anxiety can come in many forms and happen for many reasons. I am not an expert in this area but exercising, stretching, training, or running can really help with everyday worries. It can be suggested that exercise especially in a safe environment in fresh air is a natural anti-anxiety way of managing this. How often do you turn up or start exercising and feel rubbish, tired, and lethargic and by the end of the workout walk away happy, smiling and laughing. 

Laughter

Group training is not just about becoming healthier and fitter but also about having fun and enjoying the company of others. We like to encourage people to chat; have banter and feel comfortable with a group of people they are training with. Laughter can help with your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, whilst making sure that you are in a safe space amongst friends and peers (Another big section of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) Laughter may also help if you suffer from depression 

Never underestimate the power of laughter 

Laughing is good for you

Depression

Depression can come in many forms and something I will not go into much depth. However, everything we have spoken about above may help with depression and the problems associated with this. 

Remember if you feeling the strain, stressed or need to talk to someone, make sure you talk to some, chat and dont hide alone 

Fun at bootcamp

What else can help with your mental health? 

Breathing - Take a moment to focus on a simple breathing technique I like the box breathing
technique where you breathe in for 4 counts, pause to hold, breathe out for 4 counts, pause to hold before repeating until you feel calm and grounded. 

Nutrition - Try day healthier more often than not, reduce your sugar and high fatty foods and replace with fresh fruit, greens, veg and nuts and seeds (Please note this is very generic and not in dept dietary advice) Drink plenty of water and cut down on fizzy and energy drinks 

Social Media Amnesty - Switch off the constant distractions that bombard you from you're the internet daily and social media for just a short space of time and notice how it makes you feel. Start with 5 minutes working up to longer every day. Turn your phone off earlier before bed  

Stretching - Stretch before bed can really help with lowering the stress levels, sleeping better and overall feeling better - Why not try the stretch video below:

Take time out - Take time out in a bath or fill a bowl and soak your feet. Maybe sit in the garden and quietly have a cuppa. Anything that soothes you. It doesn't have to be a costly massage or spa day.

 

Testimonials

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- Imogen Turner

I joined Paul's UK outdoor fitness class approximately 6 years ago. I had previously struggled with a yoyo weight on the scales and poor mental health. Fast forward to now I am in the best physical and mental shape I have ever been in with a huge thanks to Paul and the team. They take the time to learn your strengths and work on your weaknesses. They are all willing to go the extra mile to reach out to help and motivate. I can thoroughly recommend every instructor and session as they are well thought out and fly by

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- Danny and Louise Barnes

We have been members of UK Outdoor Fitness since June 2019 and joined when we saw a group of individuals enjoying a bootcamp session on the moor at Drighlington. Since then bootcamps have become a big part of our lives as we attend three times a week. Paul runs an amazing team of trainers and keeps motivation levels high. Even during lockdowns, he continues to offer online sessions and keeps in regular contact with members.  We know we can rely on Paul and his team to be there for support when needed. Our bootcamps mean a lot to us, such a great group of people.