Physical health and mental health are linked and impact upon one another. It is even more important to talk about the effect of physical health on our mental wellbeing this Mental Health Awareness Week, when our usual ways of exercising may have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Getting started

Physical activity can be done in many forms and does not have to be a high intensity workout. Everything from going on a walk to completing an online exercise class, to putting some music on and having a dance is classed as physical activity. If you’re not sure where to start take a look at Rethink’s introduction to physical activity.

Enjoying the outdoor, indoors

Physical activity often involves being outside in nature. Incorporating the outdoors into your activity routine can also have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. It may feel more difficult to access nature at the moment due to the restrictions in place during the coronavirus outbreak.

Oxfordshire Mind has a variety of virtual walks, whether you fancy a trek through the South African savanna or a stroll through Christ Church Meadows, you are now able to do this, all whilst in the comfort of your own home

Their Walking for Wellbeing team is also creating weekly videos, including a 40 minute walk around Christ Church Meadow.

Embracing the great outdoors

Active Oxfordshire also has lots of different ways to keep active, including tips on exercising outside whilst maintaining social distancing.

Online workouts appear to be a new craze currently with lots available depending on the type of workout you want and the ability level you are at.

Indoor activities

Sport England has lots of information about inside activities and programmes available through on demand services or apps.

Easy steps

If a full workout is not for you, the NHS Active 10 app tracks brisk walking and allows you to set targets for each day. Perhaps you could go for a walk while listening to one of Oxfordshire Mind’s virtual walks?

Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you to develop awareness of your physical condition as well as improving your mental wellbeing.

Each week the Oxfordshire Mindfulness Centre uploads a free Mindfulness session and looks at ways you can incorporate mindfulness in your everyday routine.