Katie McDonnell, Flipping, Parkour at Imax

5 Ways Parkour Positively Impacts Your Mental Health

While parkour is often thought of as just a physical activity, it also offers a number of mental health benefits that are worth exploring.

In today’s “Getting Started with Parkour” article, we are going to be diving into some of the ways that parkour can benefit your mental health in a positive way, and how it can also benefit other areas of your life.

We’ve also included some mental health resources at the bottom of this article, as well as some of our member organisations that have a focus on the positive impact parkour has on mental health.

1 – It boosts confidence and self-esteem

Parkour involves taking on challenging physical obstacles and pushing yourself to new limits. As you develop new skills and abilities, you’ll start to feel more confident in your abilities, which can translate to other areas of your life. A lot of parkour practitioners always state how what they have learned in parkour has helped them in their day-to-day lives outside of the sport.

This can lead to a greater sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

Parkour helps boost confidence and self-esteem.

2 – It helps manage stress

Engaging in physical activity, like parkour, can be an excellent way to manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. As you engage in parkour, you’ll feel a sense of excitement and exhilaration, which can help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Parkour helps manage stress – Photo by Joanna Markiewicz

3 – It improves focus and concentration

Parkour requires a high level of focus and concentration. As you navigate obstacles and plan your movements, you’ll be training your brain to focus more effectively. This can translate to other areas of your life, such as work or school, where you need to concentrate for extended periods of time.

Photo by Scott Bass

4 – It promotes resilience and perseverance

Parkour involves taking on challenging physical obstacles and learning to persevere in the face of adversity and fear. As you develop resilience and persistence through parkour, you’ll be better equipped to handle challenges and setbacks in other areas of your life.

Parkour promotes resilience and perseverance – Photo by Scott Bass

5 – It provides a sense of community and social support

Parkour is often practiced in groups or communities, which can provide a sense of social support and connection. Engaging with others who share your passion for parkour can be a great way to build relationships and feel more connected to others.

Parkour provides a sense of community and social support.

Overall, parkour is a challenging and rewarding sport that offers a number of benefits for your mental health. Whether you’re looking to boost your confidence, manage stress, improve focus, develop resilience, or build social connections, parkour is a great way to achieve these goals while having fun and staying active. So why not give it a try?

Parkour UK Courses for Mental Health

Throughout the year, Parkour UK looks to add more options for coaches and individuals within the parkour community to enhance their learning.

Since 2022, we have been running Mental Health First Aid courses.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course that teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

You’ll learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.

Keep an eye on our socials (@parkouruk) for updates on our next Mental Health First Aid course, or check out our events calendar here.

If you are in a position where you need urgent mental health support, please take a look at any of the following links below:

Parkour UK Mental Health Advice

CALM ZONE Service Directory

Contendunt – Mental Health Helplines (Worldwide)

Parkour Classes with a focus on mental health:

Spiral Freerun C.I.C, Bedford UK – PKUK Affiliate Members
Spiral Freerun Website

Free Your Instinct – PKUK Affiliate Members
Parkour to help people with mental health support needs, operating in London, Somerset, and Bristol
Free Your Instinct Website

Aspire Parkour Academy – PKUK Affiliate Members
Parkour sessions in Peterborough, UK. Coaches have undergone mental health first aid training.
Aspire Parkour Academy Website