October is World Mental Health Month and that happened to coincide with my deciding to be more open and honest about everything in life. We tend to share the best of our life online, and I always worry that my blog and Instagram is one of those rose-tinted glasses ones where I just share pretty photos and talk about the awesome things we do, but life isn’t always days out, nice meals and drinking beer. There’s plenty of downtimes too; days where I struggle with my mental health, days spent in my pyjamas and days where going out is the absolute last thing on my mind. I’m sure we all have times like these and that’s what I’m to talk to you today about.
As World Mental Health Month began, Myprotein released survey findings, highlighting the effects of sports and fitness on mental wellbeing with 99% of participants confirming they feel that some form of exercise improves their mental health. Previous studies found people managing 150 minutes of activity a week have 31% lower risk of depression. I can totally vouch for the finding too! On days where I’m not feeling myself, Mike always tells me to pop on my trainers and we go out for a walk. It may not be everyone’s idea of sports and fitness but a long brisk walk really does me the world of good.
With findings from Myprotein providing further key insights including that when it comes to fitness over 75% of males partake in order to feel more comfortable in their bodies or improve their mood, and this is in comparison to 85% of females! Both males and females chose weight training as their go-to exercise to aid mental well-being which surprised me as it’s not something I would instantly think of doing myself!
What other sports do people enjoy doing to improve their mental health? 46% of men said that just going to the gym helps their mood and a close 40% of the male audience picked running, jogging, or walking. For women, 50% said they would pick to go to the gym for their mental health, but with 50% of the vote running, jogging, or walking was the top choice for women.
But what happens if sport and fitness aren’t for you? Are there other ways that you can work on your mental health? Of course, there are! Men voted for watching a film or TV as they third best thing to do when they need a pick me up, and 55% of females selected ‘Talking and Socialising’ as a mental well-being support mechanism, and 40% chose ‘Baking or Cooking’ as the best ways to help themselves. We all love a good chat, right?
So, what can we take from Myprotein’s survey results? That yes, sports and fitness is certainly a favourite way to help your mental health, but if you’re not into that then there’s nothing wrong at all with watching your favourite film, calling you mates for a chat or even baking a banging batch of brownies to chow down on when they’re out of the oven!