Protect your mind
Being active is really good for your mind as well as your body. Getting some physical activity each day can help prevent you getting depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
Moving more can also help you get a good night's sleep, which helps your brain to rest and recharge. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, being active every day can help to ease the symptoms. Physical activity can also help with stress by helping to clear your thoughts so you can deal with any problems more calmly.
How exercise helps your mental wellbeing
Scientists think that physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in a number of ways. Physical activity can help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety. Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.
How you can get more active
If you want to get active, think about physical activity in the broadest sense. It can help to read the physical activity guidelines for adults. Adults aged 19 and over should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – such as fast walking or cycling – a week.
Find activities that you enjoy, then make them a part of your life. There's lots of information and advice on NHS Choices to help you get active:
Feel happier and enjoy life more with these five evidence-based steps for improving your mental wellbeing.