News & Insights 28 December 2022

Every move you make matters for your mental health this winter

With the cold weather and darker days officially here, many people will start to notice the impact on their mental health. Whilst the impact will vary from person to person, you might experience symptoms such as a lack of energy, having difficulty concentrating, feeling sad, guilty, low, and/or tearful, and increased feelings, and or not wanting to socialise (Met Office, 2022; Mind, 2022).

Your mental health help to determine how you handle stress, different emotions and what choices you are making regarding your health (CDC, 2021). Importantly, mental health issues such as depression can increase the risk of physical illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. That is why taking care of your mental wellbeing is just as important as taking care of your physical health.

The good news is that there is a way of taking care both of your mental and physical health.
Research shows that physical activity can have a significant mental health benefit and what is more, it doesn’t have to be structured or vigorous exercise (Pearce et al., 2022). Even a brisk walk a few times per week or engaging in-door activities can be effective in improving your mental wellbeing. In fact, every move we make can matter for our physical and mental health.

You don’t have to engage in structured exercise or vigorous intensity activity to benefit from movement. When you are choosing to use physical activity to improve your mental wellbeing, any movement can count. The best part is that you are free to choose the activities that you enjoy doing most and would make you feel happy.  Even the everyday activities you can do around your house, in the garden and art-making activities are also known to have a positive impact on your mood and the way you are feeling emotionally (University of Florida, 2022). And this is true for those who are in good health and for people who have different medical conditions. Both gardening and producing art is a great way to express your creativity, increase your physical activity and boost your mood.

Many KiActiv® Health clients have experienced the numerous benefits that come with everyday physical activity including those related to improving your mental wellbeing. Our accredited KiActiv® Mentors provide the necessary support and guidance to enable clients to optimise and self-manage their physical activity to reach their health and wellbeing goals.

This is what one of our KiActiv® Health clients, a female who was struggling with depression, shared:

“It’s helped my depression tremendously. The psychotherapist said it’s doing me a world of good, making me get out and about more.”

“It’s given me a sort of boost – a real ‘let’s do it!’ Do everything! Get healthy!”

“I’ve already recommended this programme to some of my friends.”

If you want to take control over your physical activity levels and improve both your physical and mental wellbeing in the context of your own health circumstances, you can click here to express your interest in KiActiv® Health.

The KiActiv® Team