Anonymous asks:

Dear Agony Aunt,

I really want to get into a sport. I know it will be hugely beneficial for my body and my mood (I suffer from depression) but I'm not sure which one to pick. As someone who hasn't really done sport since school and because there are so many different ones, I'm struggling. Can you make any suggestions for beginners? I have tried the gym but never stuck to it.

David Wiener, Training and Nutrition Specialist says: When it comes to exercise, one of the most important things to remember is that you must enjoy it. Putting pressure on yourself to do something you don’t enjoy is counterproductive, so really put some thought into the sorts of physical activity that you enjoy and set some realistic goals which can help to keep you motivated and on the right track.

Iuliia Nemchinova / Alamy Stock Photo

Iuliia Nemchinova / Alamy Stock Photo

A good way to do this it to think about which sports you enjoyed when you were at school. Chances are, if you enjoyed it when you were younger, once you restart, you’ll feel the same and you’ll be reaping the benefits of regular exercise before you even know it.

It is not uncommon for people to struggle to create a relationship with exercise, especially if it’s new to them. Don’t be scared to try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone so that you find a style of training or sport which works for you. Start slowly and try low impact forms of exercise like walking or swimming, as well as working out with friends and family to keep you motivated and accountable.

Fitness apps like Freeletics ( are also brilliant for beginners. Allowing you to workout from the comfort of your own home, with limited space and no equipment. Freeletics tailors’ workouts to your goals and fitness ability, progressing as you do to keep you challenged and on track. Freeletics also includes mindset coaching, with a wide variety of audio course which can help you to build healthy, long-term habits, keeping you on track.

As a beginner, you can also try sports such as cycling, badminton or tennis. These are all sports which you pick up without needing a lot of resources, time, or money. Swimming and cycling are great as you can do them on your own, so you don’t have to rely on other people to participate. When you get a bit more confident and active, this is where you can start to incorporate group sports such as badminton and tennis. Not only will this give you a more social element, but it can make sport competitive which gives you an extra adrenaline rush.

Finding your love for sport and exercise will come to you when you stick to it, and it will most definitely help if you suffer from depression. Exercise has so many benefits, both physically and mentally. Exercise releases many chemicals in the brain including endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin which helps to elevate your mood, reduce anxiety, and ease depression. Always make sure to remember, exercise isn’t a chore or the enemy and find your love for sports again!

David Wiener is a Training Specialist at world’s fastest-growing digital fitness brand company, Freeletics. With an educational background in nutrition and personal training, he is passionate about unlocking the true potential of those he coaches. He is an expert in strength training, injury prevention and rehabilitation, and sports sciences.

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