There’s no doubt that getting some exercise and enjoying the fresh air can be a massive boost to your mood, especially for those looking to improve their mental health. But when it comes to all the sports out there, from team choices to individual gameplay, what’s the most effective choice out there for someone looking to improve their mental health? Here are just a few of the options:


Often ranked at the top of the charts when it comes to improving mental health, cycling is a sport that can truly make a difference to your mood. Whether it’s just getting that welcome rush of endorphins from a good session on a stationary bike in the gym or enjoying the outdoors, cycling is one sport that does more than just helps you to build muscle.

In fact, according to studies byLancet Psychiatry in 2015, cycling is the second-best exercise or sporting hobby to improve your mental health over time. While it’s not a team sport, it does promote spending time with yourself and enjoying your surroundings. This is especially true for those who choose to take their bikes out into nature and benefit from all the fresh air and natural sunshine that comes along with a lazy summer ride. What’s not to love?

For those who prefer a more social experience with their cycling, choosing spinning classes or group cycling activities could be an option for the more introverted. For those with less time on their hands, cycling to work is another way to add in that exercise – making it both practical and effective.


A calming, enjoyable and relaxing sport, swimming differentiates itself from many types of physical activity thanks to its slower pace. For those who find exercise challenging, or who don’t enjoy traditional sports, swimming is the ideal alternative; working all those muscle groups and helping you stay fit physically and mentally without the strain of more heavy-duty activities.

For those who prefer their sport entirely solo, swimming is a perfect choice, especially when it comes to lanes at the local pool. For those who enjoy a more communal form of watersport, aqua aerobics or even swimming contests might be ideal alternatives, injecting a little more energy into your time in the water.

Whichever you choose, swimming has proven to be an excellent way to move your body – which in turn improves your quality of mental health.

Softball and Baseball

Team sports have long been a way to establish rapport, develop team working skills and feel a part of something bigger. For those whose mental health can often make them feel isolated, investing time in a team sport can be the ideal way to get back in the game. With softball and baseball, the rules are relatively simple and the gameplay enjoyable, making it suitable for people of all skill levels and abilities.

Further encourage working together by promoting team spirit with items likecustom softball jerseys by MoveU to add even more benefit to taking part in a softball or baseball league. After all, for many people taking time away with friends and enjoying a sport or activity together can be massively beneficial to their state of mind.

Whether you’re an expert player or a relative beginner, getting together with a local team can provide that much-needed camaraderie, and make you feel part of something a little bit bigger. For improving mental health, these feelings can be vital.

Tennis and Badminton

A good compromise between solo sports like squash and more group-based activities like soccer or softball, tennis and badminton, both offer players ample opportunity to work out their stress and anxiety of the day. With a focus on movement and staying active around the court, this game relies on agility and being in the zone – improving mental health one serve at a time.

A more casual sport in a lot of circles, tennis, and badminton don’t hold the same pressure as other group sports; it’s perfectly acceptable just to have fun and enjoy yourself. Plus, tennis on a hot summer’s day is the perfect way to get in the right mood for sunny weather and BBQs – with the socialization that goes along with sessions the ideal way to connect with others and have a more fulfilling experience.

From those who only play for fun to players who take their game seriously, there’s a type of racket sport for everyone. Get your body moving, and your mind will soon follow.

Boxing and Martial Arts

Requiring discipline, skill and mastery, both boxing and martial arts are areas of sport that need 100% focus. With formal ranking systems and the opportunity to see your progress, these kinds of sports are ideal for individuals that are more goals-based. Every achievement can be something to be proud of, and a welcome boost of self-esteem.

Long-known as an excellent way to improve mental health by letting out your stress and anger in a more controlled form, both martial arts and boxing offer something that other sports just can’t match. With pride that goes beyond teamwork and membership to a broader club, these sports are worth their weight in gold.

Whether you’re just looking to learn some discipline or you’re gunning for that black belt, martial arts and boxing can do wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. For those struggling with their mental health, that support is invaluable.

When it comes to maintaining good mental health, there’s plenty of advice out there. But universally it’s acknowledged that getting moving, and letting those endorphins flow, is one step towards better mental health. Just give the sport a try, and you’ll soon see why it’s celebrated as a way to improve ourselves – both physically and mentally.