One in three Brits say they exercise to combat their mental health struggles.

New research from Total Fitness found that 38 per cent of Brits regularly exercise to improve mood and relieve stress. In particular, the research revealed that women are leading the charge in exercising for mental health, with as many as 45 per cent claiming to exercise on a regular basis to enjoy the mood-boosting benefits.

The poll also revealed that 36 per cent of parents with young children are using exercise to take a moment to themselves and that 35 per cent of young adults find that regular exercise helps them to be more mindful and, in turn, reduces anxiety.

Walking is the preferred form of exercise among UK adults, with some 94 per cent of people going for regular walks, averaging just over two hours per week. The second most popular exercise is running, with 60 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women heading out for a run at least once a week. This is followed by cycling, which is popular among 51 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women.

Steven Virtue, Fitness Content and Programming Manager at Total Fitness, advised: “It’s a difficult and strange time for us all but it’s hugely uplifting to see that people are enjoying the positive effects of exercise during this time. There are huge benefits to be had from regular exercise, not only to physical health but to mental health too, as staying active is proven to release endorphins – the happy hormones – which can significantly reduce levels of stress and anxiety.

“For anyone who is perhaps nervous to try something new or unsure of where to start, there are plenty of resources available online that can help them find an activity that’s right for them – including advice articles, video classes and demonstrations.”


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