Moving for Mental Health: The Power of Physical Activity

Friday 10 May 2024
Mhaw24 Social Post 01 Square

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week between Monday 13th and Sunday 19th May. This year’s theme is movement: moving more for our mental health.

Mental health is something we all have and according to the charity Mind, around one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. As a society we are far more accepting of a physical illness, such as a broken bone or the flu, that we are of mental health illness.


How does movement help with mental health?

Being active is important for our mental health, as it has numerous benefits including improving mood, reducing anxiety, increasing self-esteem, and improving overall well-being.

Adults should aim to be active daily and complete 2.5 hours of moderate intensity activity over a week – the equivalent of 30 minutes five times a week.

Even a short amount of exercise can have a positive impact on mental health, and regular exercise can improve overall quality of life.

Going for a walk in your neighbourhood, putting on your favourite music and dancing around the living room, chair exercises when you’re watching television – it all counts!

Active Jersey FB Post

Getting Active doesn’t have to break the bank!

Join Jersey Parkrun, a free, fun and friendly weekly 5k community event taking place at Les Quennevais every Saturday at 9am. Walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate. 


Couch to 5K is a running plan for absolute beginners. The plan involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest in between, and a different schedule for each of the 9 weeks. Couch to 5K works because it starts with a mix of running and walking to gradually build up your fitness and stamina. Couch to 5K is for everyone. Whether you've never run before or you just want to get more active, Couch to 5K is a free and easy way of getting fitter and healthier.

Download the NHS Couch 5k app from App Store

Download the NHS Couch to 5k app from Google Play


Try some of our free taster workouts, available on YouTube. Including Michelle's Sculpt and Tone class, Andrew's Taster Weighted Workout and our Taster HIIT Class.


Go for a walk: Did you know that walking and spending time in nature can have a huge range of benefits for both your physical and mental wellbeing?

Walking helps to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body as well as stimulating the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural mood lifters.

When you walk regularly, your bones become stronger and more resilient. Your balance improves as well, which can help to prevent falls later in life. Walking also strengthens tendons and ligaments, which are important parts of our bodies that connect muscles with bone or cartilage (like the knee).

May is National Walking Month, why not try one of the free Jersey Heritage walks this May?

Pexels Humphrey Muleba 1612856

Continuing the momentum at work:

People are now sitting 9.3 hours a day, which is more than we're sleeping. Our lack of physical activity can have health consequences, but how can you become more active at work?

Try a walking meeting: a meeting that takes place while its participants are walking around. It could be a few minutes' "walk and talk" with a colleague to get to another part of the building or, it could be a more organized 20-minute stride around nature surrounding your office.

Take the stairs wherever possible, it can help to improve your muscle strength, bone density and joint flexibility as well as your cardiovascular health. In fact, studies suggest that climbing over 50 stair steps a day can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 20%.

Active Jersey FB Post (49)

If you, or someone you know, is feeling like they need to talk to someone, help is available:

  • If you, or someone you know, is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call 01534 445290 at any time.
Active Jersey FB Post (50)

This movement calendar from the Mental Health Foundation is an amazing way to keep track of all your daily movements and plan out your movements for each week! 

Download it here