Physical exercise can mean lots of different things. It doesn't have to be running a marathon or being a part of a large sports team. In fact, it’s really important to make sure you choose an activity that you feel comfortable and safe doing. This could be anything from swimming, walking around the block or completing household activities like hoovering or cleaning.
There is no one way to exercise; dancing to your favourite song can be as beneficial from a mental health perspective as lifting weights or swimming. It's about what you can manage. The benefits of exercise include a lower resting heart rate and the release of endorphins, which have a positive impact on mood; so regular exercise can improve your mood and wellbeing. Exercise doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg or even necessarily use an arm or a leg! It's just about moving in the way that best suits you.
If you want to take this leap, you could try the free ‘couch to 5k’ app by the NHS, or, alternatively, the NHS has a list of free exercises for you to try out. The Mix also have some good tips for getting fit alongside advice for those who may have ongoing health problems or limited mobility.
In the following video, mental health campaigner Hope Virgo speaks about how she uses running as a form of self-care and gives advice regarding exercising healthily especially for those who may have or are recovering from an eating disorder. Hope has also written a blog on her relationship with running and how she now uses running in her self-care which you can read here. Young Champion, Juliette, has also written a blog about how running helped manage her anxiety which you can read here.