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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Adults Mental Health Support

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Physical Activity and Mental Health

How can being active help your mental health?

Evidence shows that being active is good for your physical health and fitness and can have a positive impact on your mental well being too. Being active does not mean that you need to be spending several hours a day in the gym, if that isn't something you enjoy. You can stay healthy by finding an activity which is, in broad terms, active that you enjoy, and do that instead.

Scientists believe that being active helps maintain and improve mental and physical well-being. It has been said that physical activity can help people who are living with anxiety and depression. Being active is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help our mood in a positive way. It is also believed that being active helps build self-esteem, confidence and resilience.

How can you get more active?

It is generally recommended that an adult over the age of 19 years old should do at least 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) per week of moderate to intensive activity. Find an activity you enjoy doing that involves being active, because this will help you make being active a normal part of your life.

Some places have programs that are free for people who have been diagnosed with mental health challenges, for example; Invigorate offer a range of different activity groups to anyone who has mental health challenges and their support system, you can find out more here.

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Invigorate - The Invigorate programme provides a variety of activities specifically for adults experiencing mental ill health and those who wish to improve their well-being through exercise. The activities are provided by Cambridge City Council’s Active Lifestyles team and a variety of local partners, who help to support, deliver and facilitate sessions. The activities on offer currently include: Football, t’ai chi, multi-sports activities, pickleball and badminton sessions, yoga, pilates, well-being walks and mental health swims. Some sessions are free; others have a small charge.  Membership to Invigorate may also give you a free BETTER card, giving you 50% discounted pay-as-you-go access to GLL facilities in the City.  Anybody can access the activities, including those living outside of the City boundary.  For more information visit: or follow us on facebook @Getmovingcam

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How Are You Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - is a website that brings together everything in the local Peterborough community that is good for mental wellbeing. It includes activities from yoga to singing, sports clubs to arts groups, places to talk or get a cup of tea, plus information about local professional mental health support.

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Healthy You - are a free service for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents who are looking to make changes to their lifestyle. So, whether you want help to stop smoking, lead a more active lifestyle, lose some weight, or simply take advantage of the NHS Health Checks we offer, Healthy You – funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council – can help you.

Healthy You have several services available:

Mental Health Matters
Mental Health Mates - Bryony Gordon established MHM in February 2016 as a safe space for you to walk and talk about mental health problems without fear of judgement. There are walks around the nation and you can find out some more information about the walks here and on their website here.

Love to Move - Love to Move is a seated exercise and movement programme, packed with fun, music and laughter and specially designed to help improve the fitness of mind and body. This exercise programme is unique in the UK and proven to have significant physical, emotional and cognitive benefits for all participants, particularly those living with dementia. Each session lasts one hour and is delivered by an experienced and enthusiastic tutor.


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