The Health and Wellbeing column with Mel Spencer: Exercise can improve mental health

Evidence suggests three episodes of 45 minutes of physical exertion per week as a minimum.
Evidence suggests three episodes of 45 minutes of physical exertion per week as a minimum.

Thursday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day. With levels of anxiety and depression at their highest ever levels recorded, this month we are looking at exercise and the benefits it can have on mood and mindset.

Exercise is known for its ability to help reduce depression and anxiety.

Personal trainer Mel Spencer.

Personal trainer Mel Spencer.

It causes changes in the brain, including neural growth and new activity patterns that promote feelings of well-being.

It also releases endorphins and serotonin, chemicals well known for their feel good factor.

Aside from the brain chemistry involved, exercise can also serve as a distraction, giving yourself some ‘me time’ and breaking the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.

Not only does exercise help alleviate low mood, it can also prevent the development of mental health problems.

So how much exercise do we need to participate in to gain the benefits mentioned above?

Evidence suggests three episodes of 45 minutes of physical exertion per week as a minimum.

I myself have first hand experience of this.

Having suffered from post natal depression for just over a year, it was only when I started exercising that my mood began to improve.

It took time, but it happened, I started to feel like me again.

My mood lifted, my appetite came back and my sleep patterns improved, I was energised.

That was in 2012 and I’ve never looked back, I discovered the power of exercise.

I knew then that I wanted to educate and show others what it could do for them.

In 2015 I left my desk job and I qualified as a Personal Trainer and I’ve never to looked back!

Exercise isn’t just about how you look, but more importantly, it’s about how you feel.

For more information go to the www.melspencerpt.co.uk website.