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[SPORT RELIEF GOLDEN THREAD] How has exercise helped your mental health? watch

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    Exercise is something everyone means to do and few of us regularly get round to, or as much as we should do anyway. The physical health benefits are obvious, but we'd like to know how it's helped your mental health too. It could be that you feel it helps keep you mentally healthy, or maybe it makes you feel a bit better when you're feeling down. It could be that you know someone else that it really helps but haven't tried yet yourself. Whatever your experiences, share them below!

    How has exercise helped your mental health? If you haven't tried would you like to? What do you think you would do, and how could it help? From those that do exercise regularly, any advice to those looking to start?

    Over the next few months TSR will be teaming up with Sports Relief and sharing some of the ways sport can help you. There will be threads, challenges and maybe even a competition or two. Watch this space!

    Check out the other GOLDEN THREADS here >>
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    Going for a brisk walk always lifts a great deal of pressure off of my mind.
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    After I graduated from school, I didn't get the grades to get into my undergraduate course.
    I was actually pretty depressed...
    I ended up on a Biology course (my backup), which I really didn't want to be on.
    I felt like I lost purpose in life, I had no idea what I was waking up for everyday.

    Then I started Muay Thai/Kickboxing. I trained 6-7 days a week at my local club.
    I lost so much weight, starting eating healthier, got really fit and gained so much confidence in myself.
    I'm also pretty sure it saved my life. It gave me a reason to wake up every morning.
    I ended up competing as an amateur for 2-3 years before stopping in 2016.
    Now I do freerunning and compete in Powerlifting, which are sports I also enjoy.

    Being a fighter is mentally and physically draining, and is one of the most difficult sports in the world. Only those who have fought in the ring will understand when every single fibre of your body is telling you to stop. You're exhausted. You're hurt but you tell yourself to keep going, to keep fighting.

    Through my time competing as a kickboxer, I discovered that I am a strong-willed individual.
    I know I can do any sport I choose.
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    Love this thread.

    Dating my ex I was pretty much skinny fat. So little bit of tub here and there but boney as the same time. She hated it and secretly I did. but I had mental health issues related to depression, social anxiety and body image. All of which combined with other issues probably caused some issues we had. We broke up. Whilst I was with her my mental health had improved a bit but there was alway something lurking causing unease. After breaking up it threw me back a few steps further. I'd been replaced by someone else who was stronger. I wasn't enough. I failed. I didn't understand well enough. I wrote everything that may have caused a problem on a sheet of paper and promised myself from that day forward I will work on every single one of them regardless of what I need to do..

    First up was social anxiety and body image. This stemmed from just not talking in social situations due to anxiety around making mistakes or not being worthy of someone's time. So I went to the gym, i'd previously signed up a couple months earlier but hardly went. Now I went as much as I could to distract myself and change the way I looked. It was a really unhealthy obsession and an odd way to fix something but after a couple of months I started to notice a change. I could squat without falling over. I could actually correctly support my body with good posture when sitting. I got a huge boost of confidence as a result and in turn mental health improved. I wasn't so socially anxious. I was meeting new people daily who were high up in my company and well I was pretty god damn chilled. The discipline and determination to go to the gym even when it was -2 outside and dark.. It showed if I wanted to do something. I could. Your body. Your mind. Everything may scream no but there's always a way- Just speak if you wish to. Just do it if you want. In that whole time i'd forgotten about my ex, previous issues and troubles due to all the positives. I had finally become comfortable where I was in life.

    After 6 months or so it fizzled out and I lost muscle and health benefits. In turn my mental health got worse and I started to sink back to where I was before and had a bad back- Mostly due to working 12 hour day and night shifts on rotation. So I started going again late last Summer and yet again I got a huge boost. To now, well regardless of how my body looks... i'm okay with it. I walk around the changing room naked with no fuss. 3 Years ago I didn't dare show skin and always wore hoodies. My ex had helped a bit with body image and i'm thankful to this day of that but the rest needed to come from myself. Mentally i'm stronger than ever. Physically im stronger. Being in the gym is my happy place and whatever else has happened in my life is forgotten. When im on the bike it's me and the clock. I will strive to beat my 2km sprint time every time. I have the guts and determination to work towards anything in the gym. Why not translate that to my personal and working life? So at the end of last year I did. Im not going to be a an overweight middle aged man who's worked a desk job for 20 years struggling with back pain. I quit my job. I exercise daily and eat well. I'm going to uni one way or another. Im going to continue forming new friends and catch up with old ones. I'm going to work a job I love and feel rewarded from it. I may fail. I may stumble. But I do that when squatting and just get back up. I will make it happen. Exercise over the last 1-2 years has reminded me of who I was before life turned to poop. It reminds me I can achieve anything if I dedicate time to it. It reminds me I can do something even if I think I can't. I've gone past being comfortable and now want more.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Exercise is something everyone means to do and few of us regularly get round to, or as much as we should do anyway. The physical health benefits are obvious, but we'd like to know how it's helped your mental health too. It could be that you feel it helps keep you mentally healthy, or maybe it makes you feel a bit better when you're feeling down. It could be that you know someone else that it really helps but haven't tried yet yourself. Whatever your experiences, share them below!

    How has exercise helped your mental health? If you haven't tried would you like to? What do you think you would do, and how could it help? From those that do exercise regularly, any advice to those looking to start?

    Over the next few months TSR will be teaming up with Sports Relief and sharing some of the ways sport can help you. There will be threads, challenges and maybe even a competition or two. Watch this space!
    I'm not one for exercising (stereotypical CompSci) but I always try to use the stairs (4 flights up to my room!) whenever I can and although I get fairly exhausted if I'm climbing with two heavy bags of shopping, for some reason I feel REALLY good afterwards, mentally and physically.

    Sometimes I go for walks in The Meadows (A huge park area right next to the University of Edinburgh) and it's lovely. Sometimes you can't escape the food stalls though
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    Up until I was about 22, I did noooo exercise. I wanted to lose weight and feel healthier, but low confidence stopped me heading to the gym or going for a run because I was scared everyone would look at me (silly, I know )

    Having low confidence when I was younger had quite an effect on my mental health, so after finishing uni I decided to make an effort to change it. I joined the gym for the first time and started training 4-5 times a week, and ever since I've felt so much stronger, both physically and mentally.

    Going from a teenager who skipped PE for 5 years (no joke) to an adult who actually spends time at the gym for fun is a crazy transformation, but it's made me such a happier person. Even when I'm having a bad day, I always try and do at least 30 mins of cardio or a lunchtime yoga sesh, as I always feel better than when I started :dumbells:

    Also I really enjoyed reading your stories PhysioStudent437 & 8472 - thanks for sharing
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Exercise is something everyone means to do and few of us regularly get round to, or as much as we should do anyway. The physical health benefits are obvious, but we'd like to know how it's helped your mental health too. It could be that you feel it helps keep you mentally healthy, or maybe it makes you feel a bit better when you're feeling down. It could be that you know someone else that it really helps but haven't tried yet yourself. Whatever your experiences, share them below!

    How has exercise helped your mental health? If you haven't tried would you like to? What do you think you would do, and how could it help? From those that do exercise regularly, any advice to those looking to start?

    Over the next few months TSR will be teaming up with Sports Relief and sharing some of the ways sport can help you. There will be threads, challenges and maybe even a competition or two. Watch this space!
    For me exercise is key for looking after my mental health. I spend most of my childhood playing sports, competing in gymnastic competitions and running for my county, however when I got to college, my physical activity dropped to nothing. That coupled with some family trauma, my mental health took a hit. I was too intimidated to start the gym or join any clubs as I had psyched myself out of it. I then discovered some Yoga channels on YouTube and slowly built my confidence back up. The mindfulness that Yoga brings really helped me sort my head out and I don't think I could have gotten through my final year at college without it. During my gap year I plucked up the courage to join the gym and quickly learned that no one is looking at you, they're not judging you and the PTs are here to help, not criticise. Bit by bit I got back into fitness and now have made it part of my life. Hitting the treadmill for a power walk on an incline, for me, is one of the best ways for me to work out any stress or anxiety I have and I always leave feeling better than I did before. Not only do I feel the benefits from the endorphins that exercise brings, but it has also improved my confidence and is something I can challenge myself with. Whether it's Yoga in my bedroom, going on a bike ride along the sea front or heading out for a walk, I try to carve out 30 min to an hour each day and I credit it for keeping me sane.
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    A friend gave us their treadmill when they were moving house a while ago I just thought it was junk but someone in my family was convinced they’d use it so we never got rid of it. They didn’t use it in the end but I started to when I couldn’t get out I used it and it really made me feel positive about moving forward and doing things to help my physical and mental health. Also in the comfort of my own home where noone’s watching just allowed me to exercise without feeling stressed and it aggravating my social anxiety and the nasty symptoms that come along with it.
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    I do a fairly strenuous dumbbell workout 3 times a week and cycle on the days in between, and generally walk for about an hour a day to walk the dogs. I feel pretty great all the time, other benefits are better sleep(because you'll be tired when it comes round to about 9 PM), you'll feel good about yourself, you'll find it easier to concentrate, you'll be more confident. I can't think of any other mental benefits.
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    It's possibly the single most helpful thing I've found. I pretty much did nothing until I turned 20 apart from the occasional bike ride but after six weeks of intense fieldwork, I realised that (1) I really enjoy being outdoors and (2) exercise doesn't actually have to be horrific. Mental health subsequently took a bit of a nosedive but cycling or walking are both very helpful indeed and are good for putting your mind off things. Cycling in the winter isn't the most pleasant thing to do so I've not been able to do as much of that recently as I'd like to, but I'm looking forward to the return of warmer temperatures!
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    Running helps clear the mind
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    Going to the gym and taking out all my stress on the punching bag.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Exercise is something everyone means to do and few of us regularly get round to, or as much as we should do anyway. The physical health benefits are obvious, but we'd like to know how it's helped your mental health too. It could be that you feel it helps keep you mentally healthy, or maybe it makes you feel a bit better when you're feeling down. It could be that you know someone else that it really helps but haven't tried yet yourself. Whatever your experiences, share them below!

    How has exercise helped your mental health? If you haven't tried would you like to? What do you think you would do, and how could it help? From those that do exercise regularly, any advice to those looking to start?

    Over the next few months TSR will be teaming up with Sports Relief and sharing some of the ways sport can help you. There will be threads, challenges and maybe even a competition or two. Watch this space!

    Check out the other GOLDEN THREADS here >>
    I go bouldering regularly. It helped me to get out of the house more. I can't go out running or stuff I feel too self-conscious. It's fun to do a very goal oriented sport to make me feel good about myself.
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    Walking while listening to upbeat music really helps my mood. Its finding the motivation to start that is the hardest part.
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    Exercising has helped me quite outstandingly.
    I had a very poor self-esteem and ever since I've started going to the Gym, I've stopped caring about what others think of others and only think about what I think about myself.
    Exercising has also helped me in revising. I run every evening after school days and Revision days, just so I can reflect on what I've done and just start discussing deep things XD.
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    heck

    It improves your mental health. A lot. It's especially apparent to me now, as I haven't be able to go running or to the gym for almost 2 weeks now, due to hurting my legs, and I am acutely aware of how I haven't reached 20,000 steps on my fitbit in a while :"(

    I used to hate any form of exercise, yet was super self conscious of my looks and the like. My siblings were all fitter than me for a long time, as they were taken to sports clubs and stuff whilst I was the lazy one haha. Then when I was about 15, I started running, cos I was fed up with it all. And I worked my way up to 10ks in a couple of months. my brother will still call me fat n stuff, but that's cos he's a cruel human with a super high metabolism grr

    When I started college in September, I discovered there was a gym that was free and open to all students. So I started going to that a couple of times a week, then I got properly hooked. Soon enough, I got my friends involved, and I go 4 out of 5 school days a week, and running at the weekends c:

    I've definitely become a lot more confident. I used to absolutely despise how I looked, but when I could start to see changes, mY GOD, I was one happy girl. And not just that, I've made friends! Good friends! I used to be super secluded from everyone, and now I find myself talking to people more, and generally being a cheerier person.

    I think the best thing is when you finish a workout or something, and that rush of endorphins at the end makes it all worth it. You feel unstoppable for the rest of the day. Which helps when I've got a ton of homework that I need to finish

    yea
    nothing y'all haven't heard before
    but its the thought that counts
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Exercise is something everyone means to do and few of us regularly get round to, or as much as we should do anyway. The physical health benefits are obvious, but we'd like to know how it's helped your mental health too. It could be that you feel it helps keep you mentally healthy, or maybe it makes you feel a bit better when you're feeling down. It could be that you know someone else that it really helps but haven't tried yet yourself. Whatever your experiences, share them below!

    How has exercise helped your mental health? If you haven't tried would you like to? What do you think you would do, and how could it help? From those that do exercise regularly, any advice to those looking to start?

    Over the next few months TSR will be teaming up with Sports Relief and sharing some of the ways sport can help you. There will be threads, challenges and maybe even a competition or two. Watch this space!

    Check out the other GOLDEN THREADS here >>
    For me, I've always loved going for walks when I feel down. It's a chance to get out of the house and whatever situation I'm in, listen to some of my favourite music, do some reflection or contemplation, and get a little bit of exercise without really putting in too much effort.

    I've recently started going to the gym, though I have very poor motivation... When I do get there though, I always feel a sense of achievement that I can take with me all day even if I don't feel up to anything else particularly productive!

    I also play netball weekly with a social sport group at my university. Although I only started this year, I've played with new friends and been a part of the team in matches which has given me another sense of purpose, achievement and enjoyment that I find difficult to come across in every day life! Playing sports in a group is great for mental health, and gives you a way of exercising without the focus being on burning calories or losing weight.
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    Yes, clears my mind, and also know that i look better from being fitter and doing exercise so greater confidence
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    In order to keep my mental health in check I became an endurance/multisport athlete (think Ironman). It has helped me tremendously. Nothing is better than the endorphins released when you are cycling or running. It is better than any medication I have ever received for my condition. Great thread. I am currently studying the effects of exercise on sleep and anxiety.
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    A decent walk when I'm having a horribly rough day always calms things down a bit.
 
 
 
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