Welcome to your monthly well-being newsletter.
Written by Julianna Barker, Apprentice Legal Executive at Stone King LLP and ILPA Well-being Ambassador
During these uncertain times ILPA is dedicated to ensuring that all members have access to information about free mental health and well-being resources
In this edition we are focussing on the link between physical and mental health, looking at how one can significantly affect the other and sharing useful resources containing further information and practical tips. Happy reading …
Many scientific studies have proved that engaging in physical activity can improve mental health by boosting mood, aiding better sleep, managing stress, reducing the risk of depression and increasing energy (Mind). One recognised benefit is the release of endorphins, which are ‘feel-good’ chemicals released in the brain following physical activity. Endorphins can lead to happier moods and make you feel better in yourself as well as boost overall mental wellbeing.
With the current UK lockdown restricting many forms of physical exercise, such as gyms, group classes, swimming and team sports, it has been understandably hard for many to continue exercising (including myself). The restrictions placed on people’s ability to exercise has been worsened by the mental health impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for many, the slow lifting of restrictions cannot come soon enough.
In the meantime, however, it is important to remember that there are many forms of exercise, such as walking, yoga or gardening, which can have the desired effect of providing that energy boost or endorphin release that we all need. We know that many of us have found solace in taking part in live online classes and virtual running and walking groups, which have also been a source of community and connectivity which we’ve all needed during the past year.
One popular method to help those working from home to ensure they are also staying active is to do a ‘fake commute’ every day for instance, taking a walk or cycle before and after work.
It is also well-established that mental health problems can impact physical health, with one study finding that 46% of people with a mental health condition also have a long-term physical problem (The King’s Fund). Physical conditions that can be exacerbated by poor mental health include, chronic conditions, obesity and fatigue. It has been recognised that understanding this connection between mind and body can be the first step in developing strategies to reduce mental and physical conditions coming into conflict (Canadian Mental Health Association).
Here are some useful resources which explore this topic further …
The Doctor’s Kitchen Podcast: #25: Exercise for Mental Health with Dr Brendon Stubbs | The Doctor’s Kitchen
02 – Exercise is medicine: Mental health and physical activity | The Food Medic on Acast
Jog On by Bella Mackie and listen to the The Runner’s World UK Podcast where Bella talks about ‘how running helped me manage anxiety‘
Exercise and mental health | Mental Health Foundation
The ‘Fake Commute’ | The Guardian
- Document Date
- Tuesday March 30, 2021