Life & Living

Chantel Heath

INSTAGRAM: @chantelheathfitness


I’m a 41 year old mother of two & Personal Fitness coach. I work one to one, in person & online with clients aged 18-80. My specialisms include pre & postnatal training, cancer rehab, pilates, & GP exercise referrals. I run fitness classes online and in person in the Suffolk Coastal area. I am also a Mental Health First aider.

We hear a lot about how exercise can be a great way to help with a myriad of health problems such as back pain, arthritis and high blood pressure. But one of the most overlooked areas that it can help with is our mental health. I hear from my clients on a daily basis just how vital their sessions are in boosting their moods and supporting their mental health, so this article will explain some of the reasons why! And remember, when we talk about ‘exercise’ as a general term, this isn’t restricted to the gym, or formal exercise classes. Anything that gets you moving counts!

Feel-Good Chemicals

You’ve probably heard about those magical neurotransmitters – endorphins! When you exercise, your brain pumps out a load of these little mood boosters. They’re like your body’s natural happy pills. As well as improving your sense of wellbeing they can also help to reduce pain.

Ever had that post workout high?
Yup, that’s endorphins at work! Whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga, or an intense cardio session, these feel-good chemicals will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Stress Be Gone!

Stress can be like that annoying neighbor who won’t stop playing loud music, a sensory overload that you can’t switch off. Luckily, exercise can be your noise-canceling headphones, giving you something to focus on. As well as the endorphins mentioned above, when you work out you release cortisol, which can also help your body manage stress.

If you’re having a rough day, a good sweat session can act as a fantastic stress-reliever. You’ll finish your workout feeling like you conquered the world.

Confidence Boost

Exercising regularly can do wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. Seeing progress in your fitness journey can give you a fantastic boost whether that’s seeing improvements in your running times, lifting heavier weights or nailing that 1 minute plank. Plus, those post-workout selfies? Pure confidence boosters! 

Improve Your Zzz’s

Struggling with sleep? Exercise can be your secret weapon to a better night’s rest, helping you wake up on the right side of the bed! It helps regulate your sleep patterns and ensures you’re catching those much-needed Zzz’s. And if your exercise is outside in the fresh air, even better!

Social Butterfly Vibes

Exercise isn’t just about solo missions. Joining group classes, sports teams, or even just going for a walk with a friend can give you that essential social interaction your brain needs. It’s a fantastic way to meet people, build connections and share a laugh or two.

Mind-Body Connection

Yoga, pilates, tai chi, or even a nice walk in the countryside – these types of low intensity exercises not only work on your physical strength but also on your mental well-being. They teach you mindfulness, deep breathing and relaxation techniques that can calm the storm inside your mind. 

Fend Off Depression and Anxiety

Research shows that regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. It’s like building a fortress around your mental health. And if you’re already dealing with these conditions, exercise can be a vital part of your treatment plan.

Long-Term Mental Fitness

Remember, this isn’t just a one-time thing. Consistency is key! Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can keep your mental health in tip-top shape in the long run. It’s like making a deposit into your mental health bank account.

GP Exercise referral schemes.

The exercise referral scheme is available nationwide. It’s sort of like ‘exercise on prescription’ to help people diagnosed with a range of health conditions including anxiety and depression. The schemes offer free or discounted sessions for those who are eligible. There are numerous schemes available across both Norfolk and Suffolk, to find out more simply do a quick internet search for ‘GP exercise referral suffolk/norfolk’, or ask at your local GP surgery.