Today I joined in on a Mental Health Mates Walk in support of a close family friend, who teamed up with FitBit UK in Heaton Park, Manchester. The aim of the walks is to help you find your WE, and Mental Health Mates organise peer support walking groups and activities all over the UK and internationally.
Mental health has a great deal of stigma attached to it, so it is the aim of walks and activities such as this that the awareness and acceptance and willingness to be there for and to listen to others is only increasing.
Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing, and even a brisk walk can increase our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. There is a great amount of research that identifies how exercise influences the uptake and also the release of the what we like to call ‘feel good hormones’, known as endorphins.
Many people are unaware of just how direct and important the link between physical health and mental health really is, and are failing to understand to realise how connected the two are. Poor physical health can negatively impact on mental health, which in turn can lead to a heightened risk of developing forms of mental health problems. Vice Versa, poor mental health of an individual can negatively impact on one’s physical health, which can therefore lead to increasing problems and conditions with an individual’s physical health.
It is so important for people that are suffering with mental health problems to know that they are never alone, and it is with walks such as these (that will be taking place on a monthly basis), that hopefully everyone can come together and reduce the stigma attached to mental health altogether.