Why do people exercise?



To highlight the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, I wanted to ask a few friends and some people I aspire to exactly why they exercise.


There are lot's of scientific research pieces that explain the benefits of exercise for mental health. But I wanted to ask real people their thoughts in a bid to bring it closer to home and hopefully more relatable.


I asked three questions to these guys and girls, all of whom enjoy very different forms of exercise, and here's what they said.....



Kirsty Hendey

Adventurer, Model, Influencer, SAS Who Dares Wins contestant and avid CrossFit goer.

Why do you exercise?

"I exercise because I know it boosts my mood"


How does exercise make your FEEL?

"It helps me feel less stressed and it helps me feel good"


Do you think that exercise helps with your mental health?

"Yes! It helps my mental health by giving me something to focus on and sets me up for a positive day ahead. Once i've completed my workouts it allows me to continue to be productive throughout the day"


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Charlie Horne

Ultra Marathon Running Legend, Age 33


Why do you exercise?

"To make sure I am fit and healthy, but to make sure I physically and mentally challenge myself"


How does exercise make your FEEL?

"Fan 'Fucking' Tastic! "


Do you think that exercise helps with your mental health?

"100% Yes! It helps give me something to focus on, and makes me accountable for my own goals. If i am stressed or having a bad day i'll try get myself outside even if it's just 5k and I will never regret it. It always makes me feel better, gives me positive energy and helps me feed off those happy hormones (endorphins)"


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James William Phillips

Gym goer, BMX lover and entrepreneur, Age 46.


James was Voted "Essex Top 100 most influential people" 2017 | 2018 | 2019 🏆🎖


Why do you exercise?

"To ensure, I look and feel the best that I can and to keep being the inspiration I had from watching people pump iron when I was 16"


How does exercise make your FEEL?

"It makes me feel accomplished, healthier, more motivated and self-confident"


Do you think that exercise helps with your mental health?

"Yes, definitely. It helps keep my mind clear, fresh and just makes me feel fantastic in my own skin"


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Jason Bistow - AKA Urban Viking

Competition Athlete, Personal Trainer and Virgin Active RockStar Instructor


Why do you exercise?

"Because I want to be stronger, both physically and mentally"


How does exercise make your FEEL?

"Like a weight has been removed from my shoulders, and like i scratched an irritating itch"


Do you think that exercise helps with your mental health?

"Yes!! I suffer a lot from fluctuation of anger to depression, it helps me control that and makes me feel more normal"


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I'm certainly starting to see a common thread, are you?


** Exercise does have a positive effect on your mental health. It's not just shown in the scientific research and in the text books, but in the people that surround YOU! **


If you don't currently exercise ask yourself why?

Are you missing out on having this control over yourself physically and mentally?

Ask yourself, do you think your mental health could benefit from more exercise?


If you want to be inspired or more motivated to exercise, why not ask your friends or peers why they do it? Their answers might surprise you.


Please stop negatively reinforcing yourself that 'you don't like the gym' or 'you don't want to exercise'. Take action and change how you feel today and if you need help finding something you enjoy, just reach out and ask!



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