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?
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.
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
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 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.
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
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
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.
- Charlotte English, Leeds
When I first started Bootcamp people I know used to comment, “You’re Brave!” I’ve found since joining 2 months ago it’s not as scary as people make out I have began a new way of living and it\’s good to see that it’s paying off by becoming fitter each week and seeing the lbs go the right way on the scales-downwards!! I have been to a number of sessions across available and each session has been fun and never the same as the last. All the instructors are encouraging and people within the group are positive too. It’s good to know someone will encourage you to press that little bit further than before because they know you can do it, even when you think you can't
- Phillipa Clark, Leeds, Member since 2011
I have now lost about 22 lbs since January 2011 and 17 lbs of that has been lost since joining in July 2011, it’s now September! Update in 2022 its 10 years later I am still a member