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Mental Health

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Mental Health

It's well known that regular exercise is good for our bodies – and there's good evidence that it can help improve our mental wellbeing too.

An Overview of Mental Health

Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. It also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems.

MIND's online information about getting started with physical activity can help people with mental health problems better understand how sport and exercise can improve their physical and mental health – and overcome some common barriers.

Deciding what's safe for you, how hard you should push yourself and finding the right sport or activity can be difficult when you've got a mental health problem. And we can all struggle finding the motivation to be active.


Mood: when asked to rate their mood immediately after periods of physical activity (going for a walk, doing housework) and periods of inactivity (reading a book, watching television), participants felt more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active.When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (or 'feel good' hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood.

Stress: when events occur that make us feel threatened or upset, our body's defences cut in and create a stress response, which may make us feel a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms. These symptoms are triggered by a rush of stress hormones – the fight or flight response. Adrenaline and noradrenaline raise our blood pressure, increase our heart rate and increase the rate at which we perspire. This causes us to feel stress. Physical activity is a good output for relieving these symptoms and consequently relieving stress.

Self-esteem: how we feel about ourselves and how we perceive our self-worth is a key indicator of our mental wellbeing and our ability to cope with life stressors. Physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and self-worth. When you start to see your fitness levels increase and your body improve, it can give your self-esteem a big boost. The sense of achievement you get from learning new skills and achieving your goals can help you feel better about yourself and lift your mood.

Depression and anxiety: physical activity is increasingly used as an alternative treatment for depression. It can also reduce levels of anxiety in people with mild symptoms and may also be helpful for treating clinical anxiety.One study has found that by increasing your activity levels from doing nothing to exercising at least three times a week, you can reduce your risk of depression by almost 20%.

Social and Emotional Benefits: being around other people is good for our mental health and social networks, plus you can maximise the benefits of exercising by doing it with other people. Lots of us enjoy being active because it's fun. Researchers have shown that there's a link between the things we enjoy doing and improvements in our wellbeing overall.

Don't forget the physical benefits too. Being physically active can reduce your risk of some diseases, improve the health of your organs and bones, help you to maintain a healthy weight and give you more energy.


Quick tips for being more active - Watch the video for five ways to get moving and feel better.

MIND's online community, Elefriends is a great place for people to find support from people with mental health problems who are using sport to stay well.

Find Mental Health Activities Near You

Use the search below to find local activities near you.

Beat the Street Leicester: 13 Mar-24 Apr

Wed, 13 Mar 2019

A fun, free game that will see Leicester transformed into a giant game! See how far you can walk, cycle and run in just 6 weeks.

Dementia Action Week: 20-26 May

Mon, 20 May 2019

Dementia Action Week (20 - 26 May 2019) unites people, workplaces, schools and communities to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia.

Diabetes Week: 10-16 June

Mon, 10 Jun 2019

Living with diabetes is tough enough without having to worry about what other people think, feel or say.

Every Mind Matters

Tue, 09 Oct 2018

How do you handle life's ups and downs?

Leicester-Shire & Rutland One You

Mon, 22 Jan 2018

Leicester-Shire & Rutland One You is here to help achieve a healthier you by providing tools and support to make small, easy changes towards a longer, healthier life.

Make your Move

Tue, 06 Nov 2018

The greatest benefits to our physical and mental health comes when we go from doing no physical activity at all to doing just a little bit!

Men's Health Week: 10-16 June

Mon, 10 Jun 2019

It’s Men’s Health Week and the perfect opportunity for us to share how much physical activity men and boys should do

Mental Health Awareness Week: 13-19 May

Mon, 13 May 2019

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from 13-19 May.

National Parks Week: 22-29 July

Tue, 23 Jul 2019

National Parks Week is the National Parks family's annual celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about our 15 National Parks - Britain's breathing spaces.

National Walking Month

Wed, 01 May 2019

May is National Walking Month!

Race for Life

Wed, 01 May 2019

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is a series of women-only events raising money for research into all types of cancer.


Exercise...made easy. Did you know that walking briskly for just 10 continuous minutes counts as exercise?

School Games (Leicester-Shire & Rutland)

A unique opportunity to motivate and inspire young people to take part in more competitive school sport.

Your local Physical Activity, Sport & Health Team

Delivering programmes to support you to become more active.

National Parks Week: 22-29 July

Tue, 23 Jul 2019

National Parks Week is the National Parks family's annual celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about our 15 National Parks - Britain's breathing spaces.

National Stress Awareness Month

Mon, 01 Apr 2019

April marks the start of National Stress Awareness Month! What are your plans?


Exercise...made easy. Did you know that walking briskly for just 10 continuous minutes counts as exercise?

Couch to 5K

The One You Couch to 5k app has been designed to get you off the couch and running in just 9 weeks.

National Governing Bodies


Contact Name
Contact Email
Contact Telephone
020 8519 2122

Mowmacre Young Peoples Play & Development Association

To encourage youth and play activities within the Mowmacre area. Covering 5 to 19 age group.

Leicester Grammar School

Independent Co-Educational Grammar School

Rutland Rockets Netball Club

Teams compete in the Leicester Youth League (Age: 10-18 years old).

Victoria Park

Includes an Outdoor Gym

Braunstone Park

Includes Outdoor Gym Equipment

Aylestone Leisure Centre

Aylestone Leisure Centre offers activities in our sports halls, together with our swimming pools and fitness suite.


  • Melton LSA
    Blaby LSA
    Harborough LSA
    O&W LSA
  • Sport England
    Active Leicester
    Active Rutland
    Charnwood LSA
    Leicestershire County Council
  • Equality Standard
    H&B LSA
    Active Partnerships


  • O&W LSA
    Harborough LSA
  • Leicestershire County Council
    Charnwood LSA
  • Sport England
    Blaby LSA
  • Active Leicester
    H&B LSA
  • Melton LSA
  • Active Rutland
  • Active Partnerships
    Equality Standard