Mental health awareness week: movement and mood

May 11, 2021


Mental health awareness week: movement and mood

If like many the effects of Covid-19 restrictions are impacting your mood, but you’re not quite ready to brave the gym yet; getting your body moving by going for a walk can do wonders for your sense of wellbeing.

Whether it’s walking to work, a lunchtime stroll through the woods or mindful hiking, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other is proven to make life feel that little bit easier.

Image by Gary Butterfiled Unsplash

Three ways walking improves your mood

1. It’s an energy boost

Walking outdoors especially in the morning can boost energy levels for the rest of the day. This study into the benefits of indoor vs outdoor exercise found that those who walked outdoors for just 20 minutes experience more vitality and energy than those who excercise indoors.

2. It reduces the impact of SAD

Although more research needs to be done into the cause of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) the main theory is that lack of exposure to sunlight may stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus from working properly, causing symptoms of low mood.

Getting outside and making walking a part of your lifestyle is particularly important for those affected by SAD.

3. It improves sleep

Getting outside for a walk exposes us to natural light. There is a wealth of research into the impact of natural light on health and wellbeing and research tells us that going for a walk, especially in the morning regulates the hormones which help us sleep.

Dewsbury Health in Mind advert

Ready to step out?

Independent mental health charity S2R Create Space works across Kirklees offering a range of wellbeing, creative and outdoor workshops.

Their Dewsbury: Your Health in Mind project offers people in the community the opportunity to access and enjoy walks and green open spaces.

With a range of sessions available for May, a map to help you discover new places, and the Wild Dewsberries Facebook group the project wants to support wellbeing for all. From those who want to explore alone to those who are keen to link up with others and help out in the community.

Full details and events listings can be found on the S2R website

Follow on Facebook to find out more about the project and mental health awareness week activities. 

May calendar of events


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