So what is the connection between our mental health and exercise? As humans it is in our nature to move, and exercise is a great way to do that. When we exercise we feel better about ourselves, it helps with memory and thinking, and it helps us with sleep. Exercise makes us feel better about ourselves because for most of the day people are working a 9-5pm job where we might be sitting for most of the day and depending on the day it is a great way to blow off some steam after a stressful day.

First, exercise can help us feel better about our appearance which can in turn build our confidence and improve self esteem. Second, exercise can help with reducing stress. It can help get our minds off the things that are stressing us, and can be as simple as going for a walk. After a year and a half of being stuck inside due to the pandemic, people are itching to get back to their active lives and bounce back from 2020. Lastly, exercise helps with our sleep, regular physical activity can help with falling asleep faster. After a good workout one will feel energized and motivated for the day, and when it comes time for sleep you will be able to fall asleep with ease. 

How do Italy, France and Spain view exercise/ physical activity?

Italy– The population in Italy is around 60 million and looking at the statistics most Italians are encouraged to keep active. According to the World Health Organization “Italy’s physical activity fact sheet as of 2018”, looking at the level of physical activity the highest percentage is with children – at 82%. 11% of adolescents performed at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and 31% of adults engaged in 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 days per week.

France– The population in France is around 67 million and according to the World Health Organization as of 2018 looking at the statistics of France, most of the population is active. France also had a campaign to promote physical activity in the workplace “Active Plan for Active Mobility” launched in 2014, supporting active travel to and from the workplace and physical activity at the workplace. 

Spain–  Similar to France the population is at 67 million. Spain also has a campaign for physical activity in the workplace titled “Climb the stairs: I’m in”.

Some of the leisure activities that Spaniards like to do are mountaineering, skiing, rafting and kayaking, cycling and horse riding routes, watersports and golf.