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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

Mental Health And Sport

Everyone has mental health, and the role of physical activity has proven to increase not only our physical health, but our mental health too. The benefits of sport and physical activity on our mental health are endless: improved mood, decreased chance of depression and anxiety, and a better and more balanced lifestyle.

Increasing your physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean needing to join a sports team or joining a club, it can be anything from walking, swimming, yoga, or dancing. Studies have shown that exercise will improve our overall mood. Researchers found that people felt more awake, calmer and more content after physical activity, even just a 30 minute walk.

Including regular activity into your day will alleviate stress. For those with stressful lifestyles or careers, it can help us make better decisions when we are under pressure. Active people have lower stress rates than those who less active.

It can have a huge impact on our self-esteem, increasing our sense of self-worth and how we feel about ourselves. This is a key indicator of our mental wellbeing. With improved self-esteem, we can cope better with stress, and have better relationships with others.

Many GPs now prescribe getting more physical activity as a treatment for depression, either by itself, or in conjunction with other treatments. Because of it’s power to ability to reduce stress and improve our self-esteem, it is very effective in managing and preventing the onset of depression.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex has long been speaking out about mental health awareness, and the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues. As patron of the Rugby Football League, he has recently announced plans to launch a “mental fitness charter” for the Rugby World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), the first international sporting event to have done so.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Duke of Sussex said “For many years, it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mindset for everyone involved in the sport. So, I am proud to support the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter.”

As part of the five-point charter, RLWC2021 has made a commitment that by the final game of the tournament, it will have trained every player, team official, match official, teammate and volunteer to look after their own mental fitness and that of those around them.

RLWC2021 will also teach young people about the importance of looking after their own mental fitness and deliver awareness-raising workshops to 8,000 young rugby league players and their parents and families.

Prince Harry has also announced plans for the 2022 Invictus Games, to be held in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Invictus Games are an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by Duke of Sussex, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in nine sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.

If you’re concerned about your mental health, then get in touch with a Wimbledon Mindfulness Therapist today, and don’t suffer in silence.

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