SWIMMING could be the best sport for relieving stress while walking could remove a mental block, experts have revealed.
This Morning and The Sun GP, Dr. Zoe Williams, recommended moves you can take to help improve certain moods.
She advises getting some fresh air while walking if you have a mental block or feel unmotivated.
Walking can help your heart beat faster – supplying fresh oxygenated blood to your brain, allowing you to think better and concentrate.
The methodical motion of swimming can give you something to focus on, help reduce stress levels, and release cortisol which can help manage stress.
But dancing can be used to soothe feelings of worry or anxiety, as physical activity can release endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which make you feel happy.
The advice comes after research of 3,000 adults, including 1,000 who have a long-term health condition, found that 67% of those who engage in some form of physical activity say it helps their mood.
While 32% feel their mood is lower if they don’t move or exercise as much as they usually would, mental well-being is the most important factor for 18% when choosing a a physical activity.
However, for people with a long-term health condition, 38% who engage in some form of physical activity believe it helps their well-being, and 23% say the impact it has on their mental health is their primary consideration.
Not moving as much as they would like causes 45% of people with a long-term health condition to feel depressed, compared to 27% of those without.
NHS GP Dr Zoe, who works with We Are Undefeatable, who commissioned the research, said: ‘It can sometimes be frustrating if we don’t move our bodies for a long time.
“But even the smallest movements like walking or stretching can make you happier and healthier.
“Moving our body in any form every day can improve our mood and help increase our mobility and mental well-being.”
The study also found that 42% of adults with no health conditions are active more than five days a week – for around 43 minutes at a time.
But for those with a long-term health condition, that drops to 25%, for 35 minutes at a time.
Although 29% of all adults who engage in some form of activity feel “calmer” afterwards.
While 69% feel guilty when they don’t move as much as usual – that figure rises to 76% of those with a long-term health condition.
It also emerged that a third felt disappointed if they got to the end of the day and hadn’t exercised as much as they had hoped, while 18% felt uncomfortable with stiffness and pain due to lack of movement.
But 58% believe they already do as much physical activity as they can, with that figure rising to 75% of people with a health condition.
Some of the most popular activities, among all respondents, include walking (53%), team sports (20%) and swimming (18%).
It also emerged that 51% of adults exercise alone – 45% because they want to be alone with their thoughts, 22% fear being judged by others and 20% fear not being “enough in form”. to join the others.
And of those with a health condition who enjoy being active solo, 28% say their condition makes them self-conscious.
As a result, 52% of respondents who are active exercise at home, according to the study conducted via OnePoll.
More than four in 10 (42%) use cans as weight, while 18% use the door frame for their business.
Michelle Roberts, manager of the physical activity and health program at the Richmond Group of Charities behind We Are Undefeatable, said: ‘It’s so great to see from the research that everyone, including those living with a disease or health problem, can get an uplifting boost from physical activity, no matter how big or small.
“We want to encourage everyone to find the moves that suit their mood and provide inspiration for those who don’t know where or how to start.”
Dr. Zoe’s tips for improving your mood through exercise:
• No matter how you feel every day, you can make a movement adapted to your level of energy and improve your mood. Wanting to be physically active every day – however you want to move – can help us feel happier and healthier and, over time, could allow you to increase the time you spend to be physically active.
• When you wake up feeling energized, a brisk walk is a great way to get your body moving – for days that start slower, a walk can help get your body moving and clear your mind . – Walking is an excellent low-impact cardio exercise that allows you to improve your physical condition while being gentle on your joints.
• If you’re feeling stressed, you can try swimming for a calm, focused activity that’s great for your body and mind. The swim move can also be done while sitting on your couch or at your desk – for an easy way to fit some movement into your day when you can’t make it to the pool.
• If you are feeling worried or anxious, aerobic activities such as dancing can be a great way to relieve tension and positively increase your heart rate. Physical activity releases endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which trigger positive feelings in your brain that can make you feel less stressed and anxious.
• When you have a mental block or feel unmotivated, getting some fresh air and moving your body outside is a great way to clear your mind. This movement outside can be a daily task like bringing groceries from the store, going for a walk with your dog or even gardening.
• If you come to the end of the day and realize you haven’t moved as much as you could have, you can do some simple stretches and yoga moves before bed to help you relax and rest easily.
Top 10 physical activities that people do regularly (once a week)
5. Team sports, i.e. football, tennis, etc.
9. Sit to stand
10. Jogging outside
Regular exercise has been shown to be a good way to reduce your risk of dementia, according to research.
Women who exercise between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. burn more fat than those who exercise between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., according to a study published in May.
But it is not the same for men, who must wait until evening to move.