For many of us, living a healthy lifestyle is incredibly important – we eat as “healthy” as we can, we run, we lift, we play sport, we practice yoga, (& party, of course) and we always try to better ourselves physically, strive for the perfect image, but sometimes, we forget about something.
Something incredible, something which keeps us alive, something which we simply do not appreciate enough and something we cannot see through our own eyes.
Our minds. ?
In the past week, it is estimated that 1 in 6 people will experience a common mental health problem. A statistic we should not be able to ignore, yet, let’s face it, we’ve done a good job of doing just that in years gone by.
10th October, 2018’s focus is on young people and mental health in a changing world. Mental illnesses often start in young adulthood; and in a generation of social media domination, a plethora of hourly comparisons, and increasing worries around body image, relationships, “fitting in”, school grades, uni degrees and job securities (to name a few), it is absolutely paramount that we give young people access to the support they need to grow up happy, healthy and more than ever, resilient… and that’s why we’re offering everyone – past members, potential members, whatever shape or size, however your state of mind – a 5 day free pass to relieve any daily stresses through exercise. ?
Mental Health can be a sensitive subject, with people commonly afraid to open up about personal issues for fears of being scrutinised or judged. We busy ourselves rounding up followers and likes, and have more ways than ever to connect with one another (digitally anyway), but then why are we still leaving eachother hanging? Despite having large social networks, why has it been found that twenty-year-youngs report feeling lonely twice as often as those in their fifties and sixties?
Well, we don’t know the definitive answer, but what we do know, is that World Mental Health Day, has been created to bash the stigma, combat the fear, and draw attention to the fact that we are all human, we all have ups and downs, and we have all been given this life, because we are strong enough to live it.
It is equally important to take care of your mental health, as it is your physical health; but what effect does exercise have on wellbeing? It plays a huge part! Even a 10 minute mooch can increase mental alertness, energy and promote an overall positive mood! Regular routine exercise can increase self-esteem, as well as reduce stress and anxiety and you can find so much more insightful information about the benefits of physical activity on mental wellbeing over here.
As well as offering you free entry from Wednesday to Sunday, we have also enlisted the help of our amazing staff members to talk about what helps them when it comes to mental health and physical activity, and what could help you…
Esther Lewarne, our central operations coordinator, said she’s never been very good at sport and always been quite intimidated of the gym and the people that use it as she thought they’d judge her ability. She plucked up the courage to get a PT at X4L so that she could learn to use the equipment and also to see what she was capable of. The main goal really was to lose weight.
“I never realised how much I would enjoy exercise and what impact it would have on my outlook and mental health. I will never be a size 0, nor will I be the sort of person that trains 7 days a week but I will always have the respect I should for my mind as well as my body and continue to exercise on a regular basis without pressuring myself to be the best.
Exercise now gives me a release that I wasn’t getting before and keeps my mind and body healthy. I will be forever grateful to myself for taking that first step”.
Jon Wright, Founder, commented: “The benefits of exercise go beyond just the physical. Exercise has a key role to play in helping to manage mental health problems including anxiety, stress and depression. To mark World Mental Health Day, we want to give everyone the chance to get away from everyday stresses and improve their mental wellbeing by getting active.”
James Hesling, our General manager of Leeds North says that “health” is something that many people don’t realise falls into different forms. There’s the obvious physical health, which is why so many people join Xercise4Less but what’s equally as important is emotional and mental health too. Mental health can be improved in many forms, exercise being one of them! When we exercise we release endorphins in our body and our brains uses them to make us feel good!
#handsupforhealthy minds toolkit has been designed to give you nuggets of information on the mental health of young people aged 18-24; including facts, practical links, and downloadable content as well as some handy self-care tips!
Of course, there is no right way to do “fitness”; and there is no right way to take care of our mental health, but you can count on us at Xercise4Less from now until Sunday.