Movement Improves Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Week

13th – 19th May 2024

This year’s theme is ‘movement’.  This fits perfectly with our ethos at Wincanton Chiropractic Clinic.  We aren’t just concerned with the skeleton.  It’s important to us to encourage total wellbeing in our patients including the body and mind.  

We want our patients to feel better. It’s no coincidence that what’s good for the body is also good for the mind. 

One of the most important things we can do to help protect our mental health is regular movement.

Our bodies and our minds are connected, so looking after ourselves physically also helps us prevent problems with our mental health. Exercise releases “feel good” hormones, that reduce feelings of stress and anger. It also helps us feel better about our bodies. It can improve our sleep too. If it involves other people, like being part of a team, a class or group we see regularly, that can also boost our mental health.

Despite these benefits, so many of us struggle to move enough. We know there are many different reasons for this, so this Mental Health Awareness Week we want to help people to find moments for movement in their daily routines.

Find moments for movement every day

Life gets busy and it can feel like we don’t have time to spend on activities to improve our wellbeing. But, finding moments for movement throughout the day might be easier than you think.

How often do you find yourself ‘waiting’ throughout the day? Waiting for the kettle to boil; for your children to come out of school; for a bus to arrive; or for a delivery. These moments can add up. If you use the time to get moving, that will add up too. You could march on the spot, do some stretches, or try some chair exercises.

Give it a go! You’ll be surprised how much time you can fill with movement.

Set small, achievable goals

When you’re beginning to move more for your mental health, set yourself small goals. It might be walking to the end of your street. Then you can push yourself a little further each day.

Perhaps keep a movement journal so you can track your progress and how it makes you feel. Your goals are personal to you, and as you make progress you will create positive feelings that can boost your confidence and mood.

Take a break from sitting

Many of us are sitting for long periods during the day: working at desks, driving, sitting down to browse the internet or scroll through social media, watching our favourite television show or reading a book.

Research shows that it’s unhealthy to be sitting or not moving for long. If you are sitting for large periods of time throughout the day, set a timer to take regular breaks to stand up, walk around and stretch your body.

Find the fun

However you choose to get moving, the best option is usually the one we enjoy the most.

Do you remember the joy and excitement when the school bell rang for break time?  We couldn’t wait to get outside to run around and play.

As we get older, we sometimes forget that movement can be fun!  Instead of thinking of exercise as a chore, embrace your inner child and find the joy in movement. Fun and laughter alongside movement will increase your motivation and the psychological benefits.

Be kind to yourself, moving more is self-care

It can be hard to get yourself up and active if your mental health is poor. The days when you lack in motivation or are feeling low are likely when you’ll see the biggest boost to your mood by getting moving. Think of moving more as an act of self-care that will help you to feel good.

If you’re struggling to even leave your bed or house, take advantage of the times when you have to get up; for example, to use the bathroom or get something to get something to drink. Use these times to do a bit of movement – some stretches, some lunges, marching on the spot.

If you feel anxious about going outside, there are also lots of home workout ideas on YouTube that can help get you moving.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re struggling to get moving. Take small steps each day and you’ll soon feel the benefits.

Celebrate your achievements

Well done! Congratulate yourself for taking care of your body and mind. Make sure to reward yourself too, perhaps a nice bubble bath after a walk in the park or something else that you enjoy.

Appreciation is a powerful way of generating positive thoughts and feelings. Recognising our progress is an important part of moving for our mental health!


If you would like to speak to a chiropractor about your exercise routine and what is suitable for your condition, please call our reception team on 01963 32986.