Back to Uni: How Exercise can Improve your Mental Health

Wednesday, 12th September 2018

Mental health is no laughing matter with an estimated 1 in 6 people experiencing a 'common mental disorder' like depression or anxiety in the UK.

Students are most likely at risk with 1 in 4 having a diagnosable illness; 40% of students do not seek help, 80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and 50% have become so unwell they have struggled during college and university.

The most common symptoms of depression and anxiety include feeling low, feeling more anxious or agitated than usual, losing interest and losing motivation. Other symptoms include putting on or losing large amounts of weight, stopping caring about appearances and general hygiene, becoming withdrawn and sleeping too much or too less.

Although it is hard, talking to someone is one of the best cures, whether that's talking to a loved one, a counselling service, doctor/nurse or friend. After talking, the second most effective cure is exercise; this is because exercise relieves stress, tension, helps you to sleep better and releases endorphins making you feel happier and calmer.

Research shows that exercise has helped many students to feel less anxious and upset and playing sport can have a dramatic effect on improving mental well-being, social inclusion, perceived academic attainment and employability.

If you struggle with anxiety or stress, then pop along to one of our gyms and take control of your own mental well-being. We have a fantastic student membership waiting for you!

Click here to find out more.