This Sunday, October 10th marks World Mental Health day. This year, the theme announced by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. The past couple of years ups and downs have taken a toll on all of us in really different ways, with the continuing pandemic and financial uncertainty - but if anything, lockdown shed important light on how essential physical activity is to our mental wellbeing. Many of us at #TeamKitBrix dipped our toes into new hobbies such as Paddle Boarding, Wild Swimming and Road Cycling as a way of soaking up nature, and lifting the spirits.
Whether you were already a sufferer of your mental health, or you’ve recently developed some mental health setbacks, know you’re not alone. If you’re struggling, or somebody close to you suffers alone, make the pledge to speak up and seek help this week.
Throughout a period of uncertainty, one thing we’ve all been able to stick to or start practising is sports and fitness activity. As athletes, we know how important it is to keep on top of our physical health, so we’d like to highlight how important it is to manage your mental health as well.
How does sport improve mental health?
There are so many reasons that sport and mental health go hand in hand, the main one being that exercise causes your body to release endorphins, which are the chemicals that live in your brain that relieve pain and stress. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are released when you exercise. Physical activity also triggers the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which all contribute to your mental wellbeing in one way or another.
The experts say that just 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day can make people feel less stressed, down or anxious, and that’s all it takes for your brain to release the chemicals that make you feel better, as well as manage stress and pain levels. So participating in sports and staying active helps you manage these stress levels, which is why lot’s of people claim that going to the gym or working out help them out mentally.
Sport mental health benefits
Besides the more scientific stuff that proves the positive impact of staying active on your mental health, there are a load more benefits to it that will keep you mentally ready in the long run…
- Reduces stress, depression and anxiety
- Improved sleep pattern
- Boosts self-confidence
- Improved concentration
- Maintains physical health
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Gives a natural energy boost
- Meet new people, join a community and make friends
If you’re looking to get involved in a sport or activity to better your mental health, think about what kind of things you enjoy and where you’d like to get better. Maybe you’ve dabbled in something previously that made you feel good, or you’ve always enjoyed the idea of starting something new.
It could be something as simple as starting an exercise or workout routine, something more intense like training for a triathlon or an OCR. If you’ve really got no idea just yet, have a scroll through the KitBrix Blog to give you some inspiration, we’ve got your back!
With all of this in mind, sharing this knowledge with someone you think might be struggling is the most supportive thing you can do. Maybe this is your first time learning about the benefits of sports on your mental health, so take this with you and see the results for yourself.