Why is sport and movement important?
Exercise and relaxation are important to our mental health and wellbeing as well as our physical health. Moving can be relaxing, or it can be invigorating, depending on the type of exercise you undertake.
It’s important to listen to your body and exercise within your ability, so take it slowly and whether you are moving from your armchair, or going out for a walk or a cycle, it’s all good progress!
Some exercise is a form of relaxation in itself, such as Yoga or Tai Chi – so you can relax and unwind whilst keeping healthy.
Physical activity means moving your body in a way that raises your heartrate and makes you breathe a bit faster. This could be anything from a light walk to boxing – one of the great things about movement is that there are many different options and there is usually an activity to suit most people.
An easy way to look at types of physical activity is to put them into four separate categories: daily activity like walking or cycling to work, cleaning or activity at work, play such as unstructured sport, exercise such as intentional movement completed to improve health and fitness and team sport such as football. These types of movement can also help you gain confidence and get more social interaction if you move with others.
Movement and physical activity can have beneficial impacts on mental wellbeing, such as:
Impact on Stress
When we feel stress, our body will trigger the stress response in our bodies, which can cause symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, sweating, muscle tension and nausea. This is the start of the ‘Stress Cycle’.
The stress cycle can be completed by movement. This means that when we complete the stress cycle, we may be able to relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms. Regular exercise can therefore be useful in reducing stress symptoms.
It doesn’t have to be anything big – a gentle walk can have a big impact.
Impact on Low Mood and Anxiety
Movement is known to release ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins which can help to increase your mood. It can also help you feel more energised, calmer and more positive.
Movement can also help create a sense of routine when you make it a regular part of your week. Routine can help us feel regulated and well, and support you to create healthy habits for wellbeing.
Impact on Self-esteem
Self-esteem is how we think and feel about ourselves and view our own self-worth. Movement can help us feel more confident in our own health and fitness, and the release of endorphins can boost this sense of wellbeing.
We understand that starting exercise can feel daunting and this can often be a barrier to people starting. That’s why we have multiple friendly and open sports groups available to those who would like support. Please see below our support groups, which are led by experienced and friendly staff:
Bath Mind’s Movement Groups:
Wellbeing Walks are short, gentle walks led by volunteers from Bath Mind and Bathscape. The walk will be at a pace that is right for the whole group, and are a relaxed, social and friendly space for the members: whether you’re looking to add more movement into your routine, would like to meet new people or get some fresh air to enjoy nature. The walks take place every Thursday at 11am, leaving from Monksdale Road Allotment Car Park (BA2 2JD) and last no longer than an hour.
To join, contact: Lucy from Bathscape on [email protected] or send a text on 07816 641745.
Bath Mind Running Group
Bath Mind have partnered with Hannah the Runner to deliver 12 week courses and regular friendly running sessions for individuals looking to experience the benefits of running on mental health and wellbeing, whilst supporting you to meet new people and spend time outdoors.
To join, contact: Becky Hughesman, 07538 113890 or [email protected]
Our football sessions run fun and friendly mixed game for all abilities. Bath City Football Foundation lead the sessions, with Bath Mind support. We have a wonderful team of volunteers and peer volunteers who you can chat to about your wellbeing at any time.
The group takes place every Thursday from 6-7pm at Bath Recreation Ground.
To join, contact: Ailsa on 07588524111 or [email protected]
Physical Activity Resources:
Wesport have launched their Playwaze-powered Activity Finder -now showing virtual and on-demand activity sessions filtered to the West of England.
We Are Undefeatable
The We Are Undefeatable campaign has a brand new advert which you can watch here. There are also some new resources launching including: