If you’re feeling a little burned out or fatigued, you’re not alone. It’s been another challenging and unpredictable year, which means now more than ever we can be thinking about caring for our mental health and looking after ourselves.

There are plenty of ways you can do this. Exercise, nutrition, relaxation, and socialising are all linked to mental health and can have a really positive impact on your mood. Depending on what works for you, the fitness facilities, friendly communities, and luxurious spaces to unwind in at David Lloyd Clubs can make it the perfect place to boost your wellbeing.

Managing your stress

Stress isn’t just an emotion, it’s actually a physical condition too.

When you’re stressed, your body triggers a fight-or-flight response and activates your immune system. Although it’s useful in dangerous situations, too much stress can leave you feeling mentally overwhelmed and physically exhausted.

The great news is that most forms of exercise  — from aqua aerobics to fast-paced HIIT classes — can act as a good stress reliever. Physical activity increases the production of feel-good endorphins, which reduce the negative effects of stress and anxiety and help to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Particularly intense exercise can even imitate the effects of stress, teaching your body how to process those things more effectively. So, why not try a session in the gym, where you have complete control over the pace and length of your workout? Or, if you’re looking for something more guided, give one of the David Lloyd Clubs classes a go.

But if you’re not up for working out, simply escaping to the spa can be the perfect way to break away from the pressures of the world for a few hours. Your mind and body will benefit from the release of muscle tension, improved circulation and reduced blood pressure as you slip into a more relaxed state.

Healthy body, healthy mind

The mental and emotional benefits of exercise and relaxation don’t stop with those stress-busting endorphins. Regular physical activity and taking the time to unwind offer a huge range of positive outcomes. Using the range of facilities available at David Lloyd Clubs, you can expect to:

1. Sleep better

Your body has to recover after exercise, which usually leads to a good night’s sleep — and being well rested opens up its own assortment of benefits. When you routinely get enough sleep, you’ll be more likely to:

  • Get sick less often
  • Find it easier to maintain a healthy weight
  • Lower your risk of complex health concerns, including diabetes and heart issues.

2. Boost your self-esteem

Exercise can really help boost your confidence, which can naturally carry over into other areas of your life. Increased confidence can help you put your worries into perspective and feel more at ease. You might also find that it helps improve your self-image and self-worth if that’s something you’re struggling with too.

3. Tune up your brain power

Cognitive functions can decline as we get older, but regular exercise at any age can benefit the hippocampus (the part of the brain that acts on memory) and improve its function. That means that people that exercise regularly are generally more likely to think more clearly and retain new information longer into life.

4. Feel more energised

Physical activity increases blood flow, carrying more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles to make you feel more energised and alert. That feeling of being, awake, and full of energy is a great way to improve your mental health and combat the effects of stress. It may also lead to better nutritional choices as you seek to “fuel the fire” and rely less on caffeine.

Strengthen your social bonds at David Lloyd Clubs

Families and friends have struggled to spend time together over the past couple of years. That sense of isolation can quickly lead to loneliness, which is known to exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depression. But spending quality time exercising, talking, and relaxing in the company of others is a wonderful way to maintain a positive state of wellbeing.

Whether you form lasting friendships with familiar faces in your weekly cycling class, chat with old friends over a game of tennis, or regularly check in with a Personal Trainer to get more from your session, the social aspect of your in-Club experience is every bit as vital as the physical benefits. We encourage “Clubs within Clubs” across our health clubs, supporting everything from regular coffee mornings and quiz nights, to book clubs and family pool parties.

We’re aware that it’s been a challenging period for children too, which is why we’ve introduced Wellness Warriors, a new children’s class to help kids improve their concentration and co-ordination whilst managing their worries. Available at selected clubs, each class features breathing exercises and play, ending with relaxation activities and a wellbeing tip.

Think of a David Lloyd Clubs membership as your year-round support for mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. Find your nearest Club to get started.