Welcome to Active in Lockdown, a short series in which we aim to keep you updated on everything sports and fitness related during these challenging times. In our latest blog, we look towards the end of lockdown, and ask how the increasing mental health slump can be solved through an active lifestyle.
How an active lifestyle can help your mental health
The past few months have been tough.
Due to the measures of lockdown, contact between friends, trips to the gym and pursuits of hobbies and interests have all but disappeared.
And this lifestyle change has taken its toll, with millions of people in the UK feeling isolated due to the social distancing measures.
But as we look past the peak of lockdown, what can we do in the coming months to combat this nationwide mental slump?
Well, we believe that the simple answer is an active and healthy lifestyle.
To back this up, we’ve looked into the relationship between mental health and sports participation, discovering just how interconnected the two are.
Improving mental health through sport
One thing that many sports associations across the country have tried to highlight is that even during lockdown, sports and physical activity should still be maintained.
Take Badminton England for example, who emphasise exercise as a mood booster, lowering stress and promoting a feeling of well-being.
Or Football Beyond Borders, a charity who use football amongst teenagers and young adults to relieve stress and improve mental application.
Simply, sports communities are championing physical exercise as a way to combat poor mental health, particularly during lockdown.
But why should we listen?
The science of sport participation
There's science behind these statements.
The Mental Health foundation references a number of science backed reasons why getting active improves your mental health.
Participating in team sports and fitness classes have been shown to not only improve your self-esteem and confidence, but also prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.
As for the physical aspect of working out, this has been shown to improve your sleep patterns and reduce stress.
Finally, the foundation has hailed physical exercise as an alternative treatment for depression and anxiety, as it is available for all, free and has zero side effects.
These key exercise benefits have all been proven through science and research, all dramatically improving mental health and ensuring a happier, healthier life.
First steps to getting active
The results are clear, physical activity dramatically aids your mental health.
So how can someone find sports sessions to boost their wellbeing?
Currently, many fitness centres and sports clubs are looking to provide new and innovative ways to restart sessions and classes, inline with the government's measures.
This can only continue, with lockdown measures being eased week by week.
At Orfi Active, we are making it much easier to find and organise these sessions and events.
Not only do we provide access to live online workouts, but are also starting to see social distance friendly live sports and fitness events taking place.
The population needs an easy way to find these sessions and events, and Orfi Active are making this possible.
Mental health has rightly been a huge concern during the last two months, but with sports participation slowly returning, we believe getting active will result in a much healthier nation.
After two months of inactivity, now more than ever is the time to get up, get healthy and get active.