Service Users Forum: Help shape our services by joining our service user forum and let us know how we can improve - Find out more

Service User Involvement
Urgent help Donate

Five ways to make movement part of your daily routine

Physical activity can play a vital role in the lives of people with mental health problems, but many people who do want to move more are being held back by their mental health - whether that’s feelings of low self-confidence, exhaustion or fear of crowded places.

However, the best thing about physical activity is that it doesn’t have to be intense. Incorporating even the smallest of movements into your everyday routine can make all the difference to your overall health and wellbeing. Read on to discover Solent Mind’s top tips to make movement easier.

1. Take small steps

Rather than setting lofty exercise goals that feel overwhelming, start small. Take a short walk during your lunch break, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator, or schedule brief stretching breaks throughout your day. Breaking physical activity into manageable chunks makes it more achievable and helps build momentum over time.

2. Focus on one goal at a time

Trying to overhaul your entire routine overnight is a recipe for burnout and disappointment. Instead, focus on incorporating one new movement habit at a time. Whether it's committing to a daily morning yoga session, dedicating 10 minutes to dancing to your favourite tunes, or simply stretching before bed, concentrate on mastering one habit before adding another.

3. Do something you enjoy

Exercise doesn't have to mean hitting the gym or pounding the pavement if those activities don't resonate with you. The key is finding movement that you genuinely enjoy. This might be cycling, walking, gardening, swimming, or even playing with your pet. Incorporating activities you love increases the likelihood of sticking with them long-term.

4. Integrate movement into daily tasks

Look for opportunities to sneak movement into your everyday activities. Instead of emailing a colleague, walk over to their desk for a face-to-face conversation. Park your car further away from your destination to add extra steps. Even household chores like hoovering, gardening, or washing your car can double as physical activity.

5. Prioritise consistency over intensity

Consistency is key when it comes to reaping the mental health benefits of movement. Aim for regular, moderate activity rather than sporadic intense workouts. Even if you can't commit to a lengthy exercise session, squeezing in brief bursts of movement throughout your day can still make a significant difference in how you feel.

Did you find this useful? Check out our Thrive Inside campaign to discover more tips, support and services to help you live well with positive mental health.

Are you in need of mental health support? Solent Mind has a range of services across Hampshire ready to help you be mentally well and thrive. Visit 'Our Services' to see what we have on offer.

Back to all news Become a member