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How To Get Active This January and Improve Your Mental Health

Blogger Gayleen on having fun with exercise this January for better mental health 

January is a month where we can start to set ourselves some healthy New Years resolutions and goals. Do you want a way to boost your mental health as well as enjoying the benefits of improved physical health? One of the best goals and healthy changes you can do is to become more active. Let’s beat those winter blues together.  

The Physical Benefits of Exercising  

Naturally, there are many physical benefits when it comes to exercise. It can help you to lose weight, tone up and feel more comfortable in your clothes. It also helps to reduce the risk of a heart attack, lowers blood pressure and helps you to gain strong muscles and bones as well as many other health benefits 

The Mental Benefits of Exercising  

There are not only physical benefits to exercise, but there are psychological benefits too. Winter blues and lack of vitamin D, which comes from the sun, can leave you feeling low in January. However, exercise can help boost your mood, lower anxiety, depression levels, boost your self-esteem, confidence and give your brain a boost too.  

It can also reduce stress and because you will be burning off energy, you will sleep better! The increase in sleep will leave you feeling in a much better mood too.  

Types of Exercise  

There is an exercise for everyone! Here are a few ideas;  

Swimming; Go for a refreshing swimSwimming is a great distracter and is a very enjoyable exercise.  

Walking; Personally, this is one of my favourites. It’s free, and you can also practise mindfulness on your daily walks.  

Running; If you are a beginner, you could try the couch to 5k programme. Find a running partner to help motivate you.  

Joining the gym or try out a class; This is a popular choice, however if you struggle with social anxiety, I would advise checking out the busiest times of use and avoid at those times. Yoga classes can be a great way to support mental and physical wellbeing.   

Joining a sports team; Why not see if there are any local football, netball, rugby or other sports groups in your area, which you could join? Not only would you get your exercise in, but you could also meet new friends to support you on your new active journey.  

Cycling; This is another enjoyable sport, which requires a lot of concentration so it’s a great escapism tool for depression and anxiety and something you can do with or without someone else.   

How Dorset Mind can help 

Whatever exercise you prefer to do, try to commit to getting active at least once a day. That’s the idea behind Dorset Mind’s RED January.  

We can fight the January blues together!  

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The charity wants to help the Dorset community to make small steps to bring lasting change to our day to day lives.  

That’s why they have also launched the ‘Get Set to Go’ programme.

You can try out activities from different instructors, try your hand at a new skill, and learn more about the Get Set to Go Programme at this event: Fitness & Wellbeing Event


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