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Exercising your mind as well as your body

July 2019 – Author: L. Young

Exercising your mind as well as your body

The last thing you want to do when you are struggling with your mental health is put on your trainers and head out for a run, sign up for your local spin class or even just have a walk round the local park but it could be the best thing for your body.

When you exercise it triggers endorphins which create a positive feeling in yourself and can immediately boost your mood. It can free your mind, clear your thoughts and even spark creativity.

It lowers your body’s stress hormones and adrenaline. Aerobic exercise can reduce both generalised anxiety and anxiety sensitivity.

So here are 10 reasons why you should get that heart racing:

  1. Having trouble sleeping – Something as simple as regular exercise can improve your sleeping routine which is linked to lowering the symptoms of depression.
  2. Self Esteem – You can boost your body confidence and self-esteem through training.
  3. Join a running club – Local running clubs will have a beginners group where they gradually work your way up to a 5K. It is a great way to meet new people and to get your blood pumping!
  4. The exercise high – There is nothing that beats the high you get after exercise. It can make you feel invincible and that you can do anything you put your mind to. Some runners describe it as giving them a sense of euphoria that reduces anxiety.
  5. Me time – You can set goals for yourself and eventually maybe even enter races. It is an outside focus, a bit of ‘me’ time away from the daily stresses of life.
  6. Eco therapy – Doing exercise outside is proven to improve your mental and physical wellbeing so whether it’s grabbing your yoga mat or doing a HIT (High intensity workout) session you can keep fit as well as exercising your mental wellness.
  7. Challenge yourself – Take running as an example, by downloading a running app you can see what distance you are running, what pace you are sticking to and how you are improving every week. It gives you a goal to focus on while keeping your mind off your mental health.
  8. It makes you smile – When you are not feeling yourself, it’s always nice to do an activity that is going to leave you glowing (and not just with sweat!)
  9. Feel healthier – Exercise activates the production of antioxidants, chemicals which are produced naturally to fight infections. Not only will you be getting stronger but feeling healthier as well.
  10. Feel stronger – Those ‘feel good’ endorphins that you get when exercising boosts your energy levels which leaves you feeling better to face challenges in your life.

So grab your trainers, put your gym gear on and get exercising. It might just change your life for the better.

Top Tip: Download one of the following apps to help you on your way…

  • Couch to 5K App for helpful advice and you can even choose celebrity voices to guide through your training.
  • Headspace
  • Strava
  • MapmyRun