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Relaxation and exercise

It can often be easy to underestimate our ability to deal with challenging situations or difficult feelings. However we have more control than we think and although we may not be able to change situations, we have complete control over how we respond to them. Exercise is so important to improving our quality of life, giving us more energy, lifting our mood, reducing stress and helping us sleep better. Relaxation keeps our stress levels down, can help to prevent mental health problems and prevents memory failure. The benefits listed above are not anywhere near exhaustive, have a look at the links below in order to find out more and make positive changes to your lifestyle.

Start2 is an exciting online wellbeing resource that uses art and creative activities to boost your health. Start2 is full of ideas that anyone and everyone can enjoy regardless of experience of doing creative activity.

Absorbing, interesting, fun, with fantastic interactive features, it offers over 70 activities. Try your hand at animation, creative writing, textiles, drawing, collage and photography, explore virtual galleries and museums, and experience their creative self-help activities including mindfulness. Start2 guides a user with expert tips and advice and an online mentor who can even recommend the best exercises to suit users and their wellbeing goals!

Start in Salford is an arts-based charity for local people of all ages. Their specialised arts and learning opportunities promote recovery and maintain positive mental health and wellbeing across the community. They also offer creative and therapeutic classes, exhibitions, events and craft fairs for everybody to enjoy.

The Energise Centre in Charlestown Salford provides a number of services to improve and maintain your health and happiness, ranging from the Creative Group through to Group Relaxation Sessions. It's also a place for you to come along, meet other people and find out what's going on in your local community.

The Willow Tree Centre in Lower Kersal Salford provides a number of services to improve and maintain your health and happiness, ranging from the Creative Group through to Group Relaxation Sessions. It's also a place for you to come along, meet other people and find out what's going on in your local community.

42ndstreet offer a number of groups that encourage creativity and meet other young people. Click on the link for further information about these groups.

The NHS Choices website offers ways to reduced stress, focussing on relaxed breathing and deep muscle relaxation as well as other links and articles.

Get Self Help offer a wide range of excellent resource to improve your wellbeing. This particular link gives an overview of how relaxation helps, how it links to stress and then suggests a number of techniques.

Mental health charity Mind offer advice to become more relaxed in everyday life as well as a number of techniques to relax your body.

The Mental Health Foundation offers a number of excellent podcasts available to download, listen on their website or itunes. Their Relaxation podcast gives the listener a short and easy form of meditation which can be effective in relaxing and reducing stress. They also have a quick relaxation and breathing exercises podcast which you can do anywhere to help clear your mind.

Students against Depression have a lot of helpful information around putting into place a healthier routine in order to combat depression including relaxation exercises to fend off stress and anxious thoughts.

The University of Salford Tom Husband Leisure Centre offers a huge range of opportunities to play sport on either a social or competitive basis. All of their activities are offered at subsidised rates for students and staff and provide excellent value for  money. The Sports Centre team are always available to provide helpful and friendly advice, and welcome any comments or suggestions you may have. They also have fitness instructors who can work with you to accomplish your goals through a personal programme, whether it is for losing weight, building muscle  or gaining fitness. Visit the Centre to find out more or check out their Swimming and Fitness timetables if you are already a member.

The University of Salford Students’ Union Give Sport a Go scheme launches from Monday 23rd September and will enable you to try something new or get back into sports you used to play. All abilities are welcome and you can try a wide range of sports,  from football and badminton through to squash, cricket and table tennis. Meet new friends, keep fit and play as often or as little as you like. The Union also have a wide range of sports groups for you to join, ranging from commonly known sports  such as rugby and swimming through to lesser known sports such as Tae Bo and futsal.

How to look after your mental health using exercise. Exercise and physical activity play a crucial role in how you feel about yourself and life. This booklet explains  why exercise is important, suggests how you can get started and stay motivated.

Green Gym offer free conservation work projects around the UK for people who want to exercise but don’t fancy the gym or leisure centre. This could range from community gardens creation through to woodlands work. Sessions are completely free

NHS Choices have a health and fitness section dedicated to fitness providing you with lots of useful tips and links to other useful resources such as official NHS guidelines on physical activity to make sure you are getting enough. In the dark, cold and often wet winter months, check out the Exercising in the Cold guide to keep you active and healthy.

Students against Depression have a lot of helpful information around putting into place a healthy amount of exercise to fend off stress and anxious thoughts.

Couch to 5k is a running plan developed to help absolute beginners get into running. Tips on where to start and how to maintain your progress are provided, including 5k podcasts and motivational tips to help you achieve  your target. Who knows, you might even be able to set a target for the Salford 5k or 10k in September?