For me, being an ASICS Frontrunner means being an ambassador for movement. It’s widely acknowledged that mental health and physical health are closely linked, so much so, that ASICS is well-known for its ‘sound mind sound body’ motto which feels like a significant part of who we are as a team. Movement is crucial for positive mental health but that doesn’t necessarily have to mean exclusively running.

I’m obviously a huge fan of running, but I also know that if I’m not in the right headspace then running can actually contribute negatively to my mental health. For years I used running as a mechanism to control my weight which ultimately made me feel quite miserable, but after embarking on recovery from my eating disorder, I started to understand that running, and movement more generally, was something to be enjoyed and celebrated (particularly when you have the energy to be able to complete a physical activity with ease!).

These days, I’ve settled into a really great routine where a little bit of movement each day really benefits my mental health, but also the diversity of movement that I incorporate into my training and life more generally has really benefited my running too. I only run three or four times per week, but mixed in with that is swimming, cycling, paddle boarding, sailing and coastal walks. Even in rubbish weather, these activities really put a smile on my face and improve my mood.

So how exactly does movement support mental health?

I’m perhaps preaching to the converted here, but I do appreciate that some people may feel there are barriers to incorporating more movement into their life. Here are a few suggestions which may help:

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt over the past few years is that the less movement feels like a structured chore and instead becomes more of a lifestyle choice, the greater the mental health benefit it yields.

written by

Victoria Stears

Head of Global Marketing - Sports/Education Sector from London

Age group: 34

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