Research has shown that exercise can be beneficial to people's mental health as well as their physical health. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that can have a positive effect on our mood and how we feel.
Exercise does not have to be expensive or time consuming; all types of activity can help, ranging from going to the gym or for a swim, to walking to the shops instead of driving, or going out for a bike ride. Even doing the gardening can count towards your 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise!
Making exercise part of daily life can be as simple as doing daily tasks more energetically, or making small changes to your routine. Here are a few suggestions:
- Speed up the housework
- Put on some music for a ten minute dance
- Use the stairs where possible
- Leave the car at home for short journeys
- Get off the bus a stop before intended
Locally, the NHS run an Exercise on Prescription scheme, where your GP can prescribe a course of exercise at a participating leisure centre or gym. You can contact your GP surgery to find out more about this. Healthy Pompey offers advice, practical support and resources available for people of all ages in the city.
Healthy Pompey shows ways in which making an active travel choice doesn't need to be difficult. With a little of the help you can find throughout the site, it can be rewarding and fun. Portsmouth is ideally suited to walking and cycling as it is flat and compact - one of the ways it suggests making Portsmouth a Healthy Town is by getting more people on bikes and walking.
The government has also introduced a free swimming initiative that may be available to certain people, for more information go to the Portsmouth City Council website.
For more information go to www.nhs.uk/livewell.