People encouraged to exercise themselves happy

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People are being encouraged to take exercise to improve their mental and physical health.

This week (May 13-19) is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is “Let’s Get Physical” and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) is supporting the campaign by encouraging local people to take up exercise.

About 14 per cent of adults in the county participate in at least 30 minutes of sport at a moderate intensity, three times a week, according to the local Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, which is slightly lower than the level for England, which is 16 per cent. In Corby, 18.9 per cent of adults say they do at least 30 minutes of sport three times a week but the figure is 11.2 per cent in Northampton.

Director of operations for NHFT Alfred Hanson said: “It is so important to do regular exercise to help maintain your mental wellbeing. Even small increases in levels of activity can improve wellbeing and reduce stress levels.

“Exercise can also improve your body-image, self-esteem and self-worth, as well as providing opportunities for social contact and social interaction.

“Physical activity can also help in terms of prevention and treatment for various mental illnesses including depression and anxiety.

“There are loads of opportunities across the county for people to take part in physical exercise. This includes schemes run by Northamptonshire Sport, local walking clubs and everything else in between.”

Northamptonshire Sport is a partnership of organisations working together to provide opportunities for everyone to be able to access and participate in sport, physical activity and recreation. Contact Jackie Browne to find out about local opportunities on or call 01604 366455. You can also find out more at

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week, go to

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of mental health services from help for people with lower level needs such as mild anxiety or mild depression to more acute, secondary care mental health support. For details go to