Overcoming mental health obstacles for exercise

By jadegriffin May 10, 2019

Exercise obstacles can sometimes be really hard to get past, especially when suffering with mental health. Helpguide.org shared some common obstacles and how to overcome them:

  • Feeling tired: when feeling exhausted or stressed, it might feel like exercising will only make things feel even worse. However, exercise is an energy booster that can improve your energy levels significantly as well as reducing fatigue. Convince yourself to start with a ten minute walk – you’ll find you can do ten more minutes on top of that.


  • Feeling overwhelmed: the thought of adding another obligation to your life might sound difficult and ‘too much’. But don’t see it as an obligation, make exercise a fun priority and it might help you fit small amounts of it into your schedule.


  • Feeling bad about yourself: No matter who you are, or what type of fitness levels you are at, other people have the same goal of wanting to get fit. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people with different goals and knowledge will be positive for you. Completed even the smallest of challenges will make you gain body confidence.


  • Feeling pain: you shouldn’t ignore pain, but instead, do what you can whenever you can. Try getting advice from healthcare professionals on what you can do to make you feel better.

Our health and welbeing lead Chris Mottershaw has said, you want to start being physically active but not sure if it is right for you?

Exercise has been proven to not just improve our physical health, but our mental health as well. Try these four ideas to take your first step today –

  • Ask a friend – exercising with a friend is a great place to start, whether they are new or experienced, a friend nearby will definitely help.
  • Speak to our centres – find out when the quieter times are – avoiding peak times at the start may just give you the confidence you need.
  • Ask for help – we have friendly Health and Fitness instructors on our gym floors that can design and guide you through a gym programme designed just for you, and your goals.
  • Attend a class – be one of the crowd, try different classes and see which one suits you. You never know what you will like until you have tried it, and if you don’t you can always leave early. Our classes are designed for all levels but if your unsure ask a member of the leisure centre team.

Exercise is a great way to support your mental health, and can improve symptoms of a range of mental health issues.