Stressed about your exam results?
Whether you’re waiting for your A-level or GCSE results– these next couple of weeks are pretty hard going for many teens – insomnia, loss of appetite and feeling high levels of anxiety are a reality for many young people. But, what can you do about it?
Alastair Mordey runs a mental health and addiction treatment centre for teenagers and young adults, The Edge – we asked him about the benefits of physical activity for young people struggling with anxiety, mood disorders and other issues.
He told us: “Many teenagers struggle with anxiety and depression but exercise is a healthy outlet for them and this helps to keep their symptoms in control.”
"Hard cardio exercise releases endorphins, a chemical reward for the brain and we feel better and more awake. This release of endorphins can replace the high that some teenagers might get from drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs."
“By being physically active, we can improve our own mental health by reducing the risk of depression and unnecessary stress. Exercise is also known to improve memory, aid a good night's sleep and improve our overall mood.”
So, if you’re struggling in the run-up to exam results it’s time to work on your fitness levels!
Alastair continues: “If you're having trouble sleeping or struggling with a loss of appetite this is probably due to a high level of stress hormones in the body. Physical activity can be most effective at reducing those stress rates and making life more enjoyable.
“Even a short spell of exercise can increase mental alertness, energy and positive spirits. High intensity exercise can have optimum results on both alertness and productivity.
Alastair practices what he preaches at his own centre, He said: “At The Edge, Muay Thai kickboxing and triathlon training are key to the treatment programme. Muay Thai is known as the art of ‘eight limbs’, because it involves attacking and defending with both hands, legs, elbows and knees.
“Triathlon is a unique endurance sport which incorporates swimming, cycling and running. It helps young people to develop the ability to endure pain and discomfort. It involves swimming and cycling.
“Both are tough sports but they teach self-discipline and both have the power to increase self-confidence.”