Believe it or not, loneliness is one of the most common causes of mental health problems experienced by approximately 3.7 million over-16s in the UK. It’s also the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, so it’s the perfect time to talk about how you can overcome feelings of loneliness through the natural power of exercise. Our partners at The Gym Group have highlighted 3 difficult situations adults typically find themselves in regarding loneliness and compiled a list of eye-opening solutions:
“I moved to a new city, I’m feeling lonely and struggling to make new friends”
Step one of making new friends is to put yourself in the position to encounter like-minded people that you would enjoy forming a connection with. Many people who go to the gym use it as a form of stress relief and a way to keep fit. The benefit of attending the gym is that there are often many opportunities to interact with other gym goers.
Did you know that 1 in 14 people in the UK feel lonely? So, if you’re ever worried about starting a conversation with someone new, chances are they’re looking for a friend too!
At The Gym Group we have a specialised timetable filled with fun group exercise classes and we encourage anyone feeling lonely to give them a try. These could range from boxing and bootcamp classes to yoga and pilates. There are set classes scheduled on a weekly basis, so it’s the perfect way to build up courage in a familiar environment and get talking to other regular movers in the class.
“I don’t like going to the gym by myself, so often find myself skipping out on exercise”
Going to the gym on your own can be daunting, and at The Gym Group we know this can be a barrier to engaging in physical activity, which is why we encourage you to bring a friend to the gym. This could be a family member or a work colleague, anyone who would support you on your journey and make going to the gym a more positive experience.
Friends can be great to have at the gym. They’re there to celebrate good times and support you through the bad; they provide a sense of accountability to keep you going each week and they make you laugh about all the silly little things you might worry about whilst being in the gym.
We often give away free day passes for members to invite someone along and even allow our LIVEIT members to bring a friend up to 4 times a month for free.
The next time you find yourself making excuses, call up a friend and ask them if they’d like to come along. If that doesn’t work out, you could even try a free taster with one our friendly Personal Trainer’s. AND if that doesn’t work, there are always group exercise classes on the timetable! Ta-da, solutions.
“I feel lonely sometimes, but don’t always want to interact with other people”
You’re definitely not alone on this one. Many people who feel lonely, don’t feel it because they’re not interacting with other people, they feel it because they’re (to put it quite simply) BORED!
Sometimes when we have too much free time on our hands, we begin to feel down because the lack of activity can make us feel as though we have a lower sense of purpose. But exercise is an extremely viable solution to this problem.
Going to the gym is a healthy activity that can be used to fill our time. Done in moderation, it supports our physical health and in turn our mental wellbeing. The NHS suggests adults spend at least 150 minutes doing moderate exercise each week, approximately 30 minutes over 5 days. Set yourself a goal to attend the gym at least 3 days a week for 1 hour and you’ll find your mood increasing in no time. Now you’re stronger, happier and feelings of loneliness have turned into content. Congratulations! You’ve become the centre of your own happiness.
EXERCISE FOR THE WIN!
In conclusion, loneliness is something which will probably affect us all at one point or another in our lives, but the good news is, The Gym Group will always be there to support its community with healthy solutions. If you’d like to find out more about their group classes and and discounted memberships, head over to GymFlex or MyGymDiscounts now!
They look forward to seeing you in their gyms soon!