We all know that moving more has enormous benefits to physical health. Giving our heart a workout can protect us against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. There’s also a strong link between exercise and mental health and wellbeing.

Research shows that regular exercise can ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, and is protective against developing mental health difficulties down the line. Exercise supports mental health and wellbeing by:

  • Releasing feel good hormones such as endorphins
  • Enhancing self-esteem
  • Improving sleep
  • Boosting energy levels
  • Providing an avenue for social support and connection

As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity every day. Aim to add at least two days of muscle strengthening activities too.

Aerobic activity or cardio, is anything that gets your heart rate up. Here are some examples:

  • Brisk walking
  • Jogging or running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Pushing a lawn mower

Muscle strengthening is recommended at least two days a week. Try out activities that work the major muscle groups in your body - such as your legs, hips, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms. This can include:

  • Body weight exercises such as squats, push ups, sit ups
  • Lifting weights
  • Using resistance bands
  • Climbing stairs or hill walking
  • Pilates and some forms of yoga
  • Heavy gardening

Back to more resources