Lesson 8

How Does Physical Activity Help Our Mental Health?

Part of Unit 3 - Mental Health and Wellbeing
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Learning Intention

The students will examine the benefits of physical activity to social health and wellbeing.

Activity A

Discuss what students think makes up a good life.

List various items on the board such as food, money, clothes, health, exercise, etc.

Discuss what students think the term "balance" means.

Ask the class for suggestions about what "balance" means and then refer to a dictionary definition.

Lead a discussion explaining why a balanced life is better than one that has too much of one thing or not enough of another.

Activity B

Introduce the worksheet Balance Scorecard (U3L8R1). Ask students to analyse and reflect on the level of balance in their lives.

Discuss how having a balanced lifestyle that includes physical activity can benefit our social skills and increase our mental wellbeing.

Extension Activity

Chemical Reactions!

Ask students to research endorphins - a chemical reaction that is created and released when exercising, and link it to mental wellbeing. Use the worksheet Chemical Reactions research and worksheet (U3L8R2) to guide the research.

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Teacher Notes

Macquarie Dictionary definition:
balance noun
to have an equality or equivalence in weight, parts, etc.; be in equilibrium.

The AIS understands the importance of a balanced life. It would be all too easy for top athletes to focus on nothing but sport. But this would leave them with a very unbalanced life, which would not help them in the ‘real world’. For example, if an athlete focused only on sport and not on their studies, they may not be able to read or write properly. Or if they do not learn about what foods are good and bad for them, when they leave the AIS they might have poor eating habits and undo all the good work that they’ve done at the AIS.