How to make your physical health a priority.
About physical wellbeing
Physical health is a key part of your overall health and wellbeing, and it can be a big contributor to your quality of life.
When your physical health is compromised, it can affect your ability to go about daily life, in both work and leisure.
But the good news is that, even if it feels like there’s a long way to go, small changes can bring big benefits — and getting into healthy habits can pay dividends in the long term.
Exercise and mental health
People who exercise regularly feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives.
Working out can also be a powerful treatment for many common mental health challenges.
The NHS recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week – which translates to 30 minutes, five days of the week (or even just 20 mins every day).
If you’re doing little or no exercise now, think about walking for a short amount of time most days and moving around more on your breaks.
Steps to improve your physical wellbeing
Research has shown that it takes most people around two months to turn a new activity into a habit. The following tips might help you get through those first weeks:
|Tips||How to achieve them|
|Set yourself a timetable||Set times for your chosen activities, eg. working out at lunchtime on Monday or running on Wednesday evening.|
|Find a fitness buddy||Make plans with someone – the shared commitment will help you both stay on track, particularly on days when one of you is wavering.|
|Be prepared for your exercise sessions||Get your kit ready the night before you go to the gym, or keep you bike prepped and your clothes, helmet and shoes in one place.|
|Find what works for you||No matter if it’s exercising at home instead of at the gym, or just finding an activity you enjoy and look forward to.|
|Tell friends and family||Talk about your efforts – to get their encouragement and to make your plans more real.|
|Healthy eating||Eating a balanced diet also plays a big part in your physical and mental wellbeing, so check out the Eatwell Guide from the NHS to get a better understanding of what that means. You might also find recipes on television, in cookbooks or online on YouTube, Instagram or TikTok.|
The Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, provides nine months of confidential support to employees who are struggling with their wellbeing at work.
If you feel low, or your physical health is affecting your mental health, we can provide one-to-one support, at no cost to you.