Getting Active Getting active and physical activity can improve our mood and it also opens up lots of opportunities to make friends and try something new. There are many studies which have shown that doing physical activity can improve mental health. For example, it can help with: Better sleep– by taking part in physical activity, we can really tire ourselves out, making us feel sleepier at the end of the day. (Also see our tips on sleep.) Happier moods– physical activity releases endorphins which are hormones that make us feel good and give us a burst of energy. Managing stress, anxiety or intrusive and racing thoughts –Being physically active can also relieve the mind and helps focus on other things- this can help us to cope with difficult times. Self-esteem- regularly exercising can help with self-esteem, because we not only improve ourselves physically but we also begin to believe in ourselves. Research suggests that no matter what our physical ability, our self-esteem will improve when we exercise because we’re more motivated and energetic. How to Get Active: You don’t have to be Usain Bolt to be able to get involved in physical activity. If we start by just taking a ten minute walk each day, or some stretching in the morning, we’llsoon begin to see some changes in our mood , stamina and ability. There are lots of local teams in Sheffield, offering sports ranging from football to hockey; dance schools specialising in Irish dancing, modern and ballroom- and all cater for beginners to pros. There are even options for those of us who want to exercise on a budget! Why not check out the tennis courts in your local park, or there are some great Youtube videos out there teaching Yoga, Zumba and fun walking activities. Whatever we’re interested in, it’s out there! For those of us feeling really adventurous, the NHS ‘Couch to 5K’ is a great insentive to get fit and creates a community of local runners, all inspired to make a difference. (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week/ ) .There are also clubs in Sheffield such as Pedal Ready which offer loads of opportunities to get into cycling for free. (Visit their website https://www.pedalready.co.uk/) Also- check out National Mind's video on how to 'Get Moving and Feel Better'!