16 May 2013

Get physical for Mental Health Awareness Week

Activities taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week (13th to 19th May) have highlighted the benefits of exercise and physical activity on mental wellbeing.

Service users, carers, AWP and voluntary sector staff were just some of the people who came along to try Bristol Active Life Project's afternoon of activities at St Paul's Academy. Zumba, rounders, hockey and badminton were all on offer and free for everyone to try.

Active Life Trainer Paul Davies said, "It was great afternoon and it was nice to see everyone engaging together in such positive, inclusive, and fun activities while improving their physical and mental health. We hope to develop this further next year."

The dietetics team were on hand to provide healthy snacks and drinks and advice on healthy eating alongside BME community development workers from AWP and Rethink who were there to spread the Time for Change message about challenging the stigma surrounding mental health.

Swindon's Active Life team were joined by a reporter from BBC Radio Wiltshire who laced up his football boots to join them for a five-a-side session. He interviewed staff and service users about how exercise can benefit people with mental health problems, plus there were studio interviews with AWP's head of profession for physiotherapy Clare Leonard and physiotherapist Andrew Clyne.

Physical activity can have a positive impact on physical and mental health including increased energy, weight management, better sleep, reduced risk and/or symptoms of diabetes, reduced risk and/or symptoms of coronary heart disease and improved mood.

Click here to 'listen again' to the interviews (available for 7 days) which ran between 9am and 9.45am on Thursday 16th May - you might even feel inspired to get active!

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