The Mental Health Foundation says that physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on our mood. Keeping active helps us feel better about ourselves, make us feel less stressed and protects our brain power as we get older.
The NHS Better Health programme has had lots of tips and a free app to help people find a way to fitness that works for them. Now, popular influencer Joe Wicks has said that he understands the challenges that NHS workers have been under in recent years and is offering his app free to people with a NHS email account for three months. To find out more and to get the app visit https://www.thebodycoach.com/nhs/.
Staff working as part of the Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub have been sharing their favourite ways to get out and about across West Yorkshire.
Arfan Hussain, Programme Manager for Harnessing the Power of Communities, said: "Going for a jog outside regularly really helps me to clear my mind, feel more connected in my community and I love discovering nearby green spaces that I didn't even know existed."
Similarly Kerry Hinsby, Clinical Lead, agrees that "running is my exercise of choice as it's outside, easy to fit in and never fails to boost and clear my head. I've recently taken up racket ball which is really socialable and I'm enjoying the challenge of learning a totally new skill."
Nigel Wainwright, Clinical Lead, added: "I have been a keen cyclist since I was child. Cycling has been a huge part of my life and I hope will continue to be so. Mountain biking challenges me, both physically and mentally.
"Time riding on my bike often requires my absolute concentration allowing me to be present instead of being hooked by whatever worries I have about things that have gone and things yet to come. Mountain biking also allows me to connect with friends, with new people, and with nature. It has taken me to some amazing places. It is my 'go to' when I need some time to decompress, unwind, de-clutter (my head), and have fun."
Jo Butterfield, Programme Manager, said: "With a busy work life and young family (who have active social lives), finding time to do an organised sport can be a challenge but something so simple as going for a daily walk can really help me clear my head. Particularly following a day of home working that can be extremely sedentary, sometimes it can feel isolating and often makes it hard for me to 'switch off' at the end of the day.
"Having dogs to walk also means I have no excuse, whatever the weather. I try to choose different places to walk which have led me to new routes I didn't know existed and some lovely new green spaces to enjoy."