Published: 12:42, 15 May 2018
| Updated: 12:42, 15 May 2018
Dame Kelly Holmes has spoken about the emotional benefits of fitness and exercise at an event held at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.
The Olympic gold medal winner, who was attending a run at Leeds Castle on Monday, May 14 to mark the 500th day running for Kent Sports Trust CEO Steve Wolfe, said getting outside to run can have a big impact.
"For me it's good to talk and fitness is definitely something that makes you feel so much better," she said.
"You can be out in the fresh air, you can feel like all your cares are gone and get that adrenaline around and endorphins which can make you feel good," she said.
The athlete also emphasised the social aspects of sport and how it can affect mental health.
"More importantly when you do big group runs like this, a park run, other big races that go round the country you socialise, you get to talk to like-minded people and that can make you feel better."
Mental Health Awareness Week, from Monday to Sunday, May 14 to 20, aims to draw attention to the prevalence of emotional problems which the Mental Health Foundation says affect one in three people during their lifetimes.
This year the campaign is focussing on stress.
Dame Kelly said: "I think its great that we have these weeks where you're focussing on an issue with people opening up and speaking about their problems.
"For me it's always been a personal thing, I’ve always been very open about my own mental health issues and actually all the people here running today I'm sure most people have had something that's gone on, stress, anxiety, feeling down, depressed whatever it may be someone has had it."
For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week and to test your stress levels visit the Mental Health Foundation website.
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