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Look after your mental health

We all know that being physically active is good for our bodies. But our physical health and mental health are closely linked... so physical activity can be very beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing too.

Overcoming barriers

"I'm too tired or often have no energy"

Having a mental health problem (or taking medication) can make you feel tired, disrupt sleep and drain energy levels. Feeling low can also dampen your desire to do the things you enjoy, which can make it even harder to get up and go.

  • Work with your highs and lows. For example, if you’re not a morning person don’t go for early morning sessions, and avoid times when the side effects of your medication may be a problem.
  • Start off small, and build up your activity levels at a pace that works for you. Even small amounts of activity can give you a natural energy boost – and remember that exercise can help you sleep better.

"I'm not a sporty person"

You might feel uneasy about exercise classes or the pressure of a gym – or have bad memories of school sports. But being physically active doesn’t have to be about high impact sport or exercise – there are lots of activities you can do as part of I Will If You Will (IWIYW) without having to go near a gym. For example:

  • Green exercise. Make the most of the great outdoors in Bury at one of our outdoor gyms! It's free and getting out in the fresh air can be a great boost.
  • Walking groups. When you join our walks, you'll be supported by trained volunteers who will guide you through. The walks are short and over easy terrain so are perfect if you're not used to being active.
  • Dance classes can be a fun alternative to structured exercise and give you all the benefits of a good workout. We have Dance Fitness, Ballroom Dancing, Clubbercise and Zumba as part of IWIYW, so there's something for everyone.

Click here for more tips about overcoming barriers from Mind.

Jamie's story

27-year-old Jamie Osman from Tottington struggled with her confidence all her life – being bullied at school and feeling like an outsider when she got to college left her feeling like she didn’t fit in.

Read her story about the positive impact physical activity can have on mental health.


Quick tips for being more active

Watch this video from Mind for five ways to get moving and feel better.

Useful links

Physical activity, sport and mental health - Mind

How to look after your mental health using exercise - Mental Health Foundation

Bury Healthy Minds service - find out more

Visit the NHS Mental Health hub