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The benefits of physical activity extend beyond physical health. There's a powerful connection between movement and mood.

No matter your ability, age or background, regular movement can have a big impact on:

  • your mental wellbeing
  • helping to reduce stress
  • improving your mood
  • your self-esteem.


How exercise can boost your mood

  • Releases ‘happy’ hormones - physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, often referred to as "happy hormones." These chemicals help alleviate stress, reduce feelings of anxiety, and promote a sense of happiness and wellbeing.
  • Stress reduction - engaging in physical activity provides a healthy outlet for stress. It allows individuals to channel their energy in a positive way, leading to a calmer mind and improved ability to cope with life's challenges.
  • Improves self-confidence - regular exercise can enhance self-esteem and self-image. Achieving fitness goals, mastering new skills, and experiencing the physical benefits of exercise can boost confidence levels and create a positive sense of self-worth.
  • Enhances sleep quality - physical activity is linked to better sleep quality. Regular exercise helps regulate sleep patterns, leading to deeper, more restorative sleep. Improved sleep can, in turn, contribute to better mood and overall wellbeing.

Activities to get you moving

Whether it's a leisurely walk, a dance session, or a yoga class, every bit of movement counts towards a healthier mind and body.

Browse the Moving More activity finder or check out our recommended leisure activities for:

Kids and their family

Outdoor group activities

Home workout videos

Most district and borough council websites have some alternative activity suggestions too!

Young people 

Outdoor group activities

  • Park runs for young people aged +15 - 5km park run/walk/jog every Saturday morning. It's a positive, welcoming and inclusive space, with no time limit and where no one finishes last.
  • B Youth for ages 13-17 - connect with other young people like you who want to invest in their health & wellbeing
  • Sessions for girls aged 11-16 - free classes run by Nuffield Health in community spaces around Hertfordshire
  • Healthy Hub Stevenage - provides support and advice for mental, emotional, physical or lifestyle related needs, including an active lifestyles programme of assault courses, boot camps and circuit training sessions.
  • Premier League Kicks (Watford FC Trust) - designed to inspire 8-18 year olds to achieve their potential through sport and personal development activities.

Home workout videos


And if that wasn't enough, most district and borough council websites have some really great sports and leisure suggestions too!

People with long-term health conditions and disabilities

Find an activity that works best for you