Tackling mental health and the effects of a pandemic, together

Dan Armitage – Maudesport Sports Specialist 

19/01/2021

The benefits of regular exercise on mental health and its proven ability to decrease the risk of depression is hugeLong nights, gloomy days, and cold weather at this time of year is a difficult time for many peopleincluding children and young adults to keep motivatedThrowing in a pandemic and a national lockdown only adds to the pressures, and restrictions that winter usually brings. When you can only leave your house for restricted reasons, the additional weight on our mental health can be hard to balance! So, what are the benefits of frequent exercise to your mental health? 

  • Improved sleep

  • Stress/anxiety relief

  • Improved mood through endorphin release

  • Better self-esteem

  • Reduces the risk of depression

  • Sense of achievement

The key is balance. It is important to note that physical activity won’t help everyone, and if you overtrain, it can have the opposite effect on your mental health! 

  • So realistically what can you do at home? A lot - is the simple answer!

I have had YouTube on since lockdown first started, following influencers such as Joe Wicks and his motivational and easy to follow videos. Dancing, walking, running are all easy options! But to be honest, these things aren’t for everyone, and I certainly think it helps if you are already interested in workouts, or running to really get into regular physical activity, but sometimes it is just a matter of giving it a go! See what works for you and makes you feel good. I would always say if you haven’t tried it at least once, you should give it a go! 

Why not make physical activity fun? Get the family involved and challenge and encourage each other. Turn it into a game, get online, buy some hoops and bean bags and play noughts and crosses in your living room or garden. Grab a racket and ball and challenge yourself to keep the ball up for as long as possible! The important thing is to get moving, it doesn’t have to be intense or challenging – anything is better than sitting on the sofa day in, day out, making your way through numerous TV series and movies. 

Are you an avid gamer? Why not swap gaming for an ‘active’ video game – dust off that Wii fit, or PlayStation Move, and find something that gets you movingkeeps you entertained and is enjoyable.  

Maudesport has created activities for you and your children to do at home and help uplift your moodPerfect for indoors and out. Check out and have a go at our list of mood-boosting workouts below… 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health, remember there are many places to go for help, the most important thing is to talk to someone! Find a buddy, talk to them every day, and get outside and exercise! 

Here are some contacts who can support you and help you through tougher times: 

www.mind.org.uk – 0300 123 3393 

www.samaritans.org – 116 123 

www.thecalmsone.net – 0800 58 58 58 

Still in School?  

Table Tennis is a fantastic game for implementing social distancing play, especially for those who are still in school. Here are just a few benefits from playing the game which will maintain a safe distance between players, keep moving and stimulates the brain.  

It really is an all-round great sport for any age and any ability! 

  • A social sport that always maintains a 2m distance between players

  • Placement, speed, and spin are imperative attributes in Table Tennis, which can all improve brainpower and the ability to solve puzzles

  • Improves balance, coordination, and reflexes for all ages and ability levels

  • Anticipating the oppositions next shot uses the prefrontal cortex and stimulates the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that enables us to learn and retain long term memory and events

  • Can be played indoors - which is an excellent option for those drizzly and colder winter days

Check out Maudesports recommended Table Tennis products:

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