We all know that physical activity is great for the body. A healthy heart and strong bones and joints are just a few of the benefits. But often less emphasised is the effect that exercise can have on mental health and wellbeing.

Even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positivity. Regular participation in physical activity can increase self-esteem, and can reduce stress and anxiety. It helps to prevent mental health problems from developing in the first place, but also can transform the quality of life for people already experiencing them.

So, what can physical activity help with?


Research shows that people feel more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active.

For real mood boosting results, consider doing regular low intensity aerobic exercise for 30-35 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week for 12 weeks.

Active Leeds leisure centres have plenty of options available to make it easy for you to achieve this, but perhaps even easier – go out for a walk or bike ride! You can enjoy the fresh air at the same time.

For more information please ask, or take a look around for yourself



Stress can wreak havoc with our bodies. Stress hormones upset our balance, and cause symptoms like sleep problems, sweating, loss of appetite and increased blood pressure. And of course, this does nothing for our mental health either.

Studies have shown that physical exercise of any kind can help to relieve stress. Highly active adults tend to have lower stress rates compared to those who are less active.
Stress can make you feel like there’s no time in your day to be active, but be assured that if you can find even just a small window of opportunity, it’ll be so worth it.

We have a wide variety of fitness classes to help keep you motivated and stress free. 

fitness classes


Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves and how we perceive our self-worth.

Physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence on self-esteem and self-worth in people of all ages, which in turn increases our ability to cope with life stressors, leading to a greater sense of mental wellbeing.

In the short term, exercise boosts mood and relieves stress, making us feel good. In the long term, exercise makes us feel good about our physical abilities and physique.

Take a look at what we have to offer and do the exercise which is right for you. 

classes & activities
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Older people can often experience dementia, memory loss, and a decline in cognitive functions such as attention and concentration. Physical activity has been shown to guard against the onset of these symptoms. For people who are already living with dementia, physical exercise can help to delay the progression of the disease.

Studies have shown that the risk of developing depression and dementia as an older person is reduced by up to 30% for those who participate in regular physical activity.



Physical activity can be a great treatment for depression and anxiety. It can reduce level of anxiety in people with mild symptoms and those with clinical anxiety. Physical activity is an empowering approach that can support self-management.

If being in a fitness class or attending the gym is not for you, why not try swimming? A great way for everyone to enjoy exercise


Active Leeds have a wide range of facilities and activities for you to choose from. Whether it’s swimming, the gym or our huge range of fitness classes, we have something for everyone. We also have a dedicated team on hand to provide any support you need to help you achieve your goals.

#Loveyourself and make time for you. You’ll feel the difference!

If you or someone close to you is struggling with a mental health problem, there is lots of support out there. Have a look at the following links for more information.

Mental Health Support in Leeds

General Mental Health Support

General Wellbeing Support

Love Yourself and Make Time for You!

Whether you’re feeling stressed at work, need some time for yourself or want an energy boost we have activities for everyone to help.

Our fitness memberships include access to 12 gyms, 14 swimming pools and a huge range of classes each week.  And at just £24.95 per month they’re great value for money!

To make a start today simply call into your local Active Leeds leisure centre or complete your details below and a member of our team will be in touch.

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