The benefits of daily exercise show not only in our appearance but also our mood.

Thus making it important to include exercise in our daily routine. Something I need to remind myself often; Especially after injuring my elbow a few weeks back I have had a lot of time to sit around and think. The break may not be so bad, but the sitting around with my thoughts is not easy.

Not for me anyway,

I struggle sitting around with nothing to do. My thoughts wander to all sorts of irrelevant places and it’s no good for my anxiety. I end up in this downward spiral of depression and lack motivation to get out.

“I’ve got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up scenarios, in my head.”

As I sit here with these feelings I know others out there also go through the same struggle. Firstly I want you all to know you aren’t alone, there are many people out there that do struggle with motivation. Secondly I want you to know that once you get a plan in place and make a habit of exercising the lack of motivation wont matter so much.

As a result I thought I would share with you how I managed to turn the downward spiral around. How I can improve my mindset and well being through movement and exercise. Along the way hoping I can also help others who may for whatever reason need a little motivation.

I know myself it’s not easy to find motivation when you are not in a good headspace. But if you can push past the feelings and find something you love it becomes easier.

Above all this is where exercise comes in. Exercise to me is a release, a place I can go to get my head straight. Without it I start to lack motivation and often suffer from low moods and irritability.

“On good days workout. On bad days, workout harder.’

Research has shown that regular exercise can help ease anxiety. Doing exercise such as yoga can help to promote mental well being. Further more it increases energy levels, promotes good sleep and improves your mood.

Here are some other amazing benefits of regular activity

  • Exercise helps to deal with stress. Physical activity is a great way to help combat stress. Making time for regular activity helps to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. Further more it increases your bodies “feel good” hormones (endorphins). As a result your mood and mindset are likely to improve. I have always found my anxiety and stress to be high when I’m in a position where I can’t exercise. Do you?

  • Feeling physically stronger can make you mentally stronger. Stress and illness often go hand in hand, where there is one there is usually the other. Thus improving our overall health can help keep stress levels at bay. As a result improving your immune system. Leaving you less susceptable to minor illnesses such as the common cold and flu.

  • It’s a great way to socialize. Exercise can come in many forms, it doesn’t have to be slogging it out at the gym by yourself. Playing sport or even a dance group could all be considered part of your regular activity. With this is mind you could find a sport or group you are interested in and join. Furthermore you will be ‘killing two birds with one stone.’ Getting out and moving while also having meaningful social interactions with others.

  • Distracts you from negative emotions. Taking part in any kind of regular activity can do wonders on changing up a negative mindset. This could be in the form of high intensity, high impact gym work or classes, or quite gentle movements. The choice is yours. I know myself somedays I just want to crank up the music and sweat. While other days I want to take it slow and calm myself and my mind.

  • Promotes confidence. The size and shape of our bodies shouldn’t be seen as the be all and end all of wellness. In saying this being a few kg’s lighter or more toned can do wonders for our self confidence, if that’s what you want. Exercising in a way that helps you achieve your own personal wellness goals will do wonders for you. Consequently shining through in everything you do. I know when I’m on track with myself that I can glow, inside and out.

Do you find this when you are at the top of your game?

Now that we know the benefits we need to figure out where to begin.

Remember to start small, find 10 minutes a day to do something you enjoy, whatever that may be. As you build these habits into to daily life up the time frame until you reach 30 minutes a day.

Finding something we love is very important. If we aren’t enjoying what we are doing we are never going to stick with it. There are so many options out there. try them all out if you have to.

It’s a matter of finding what works for you

Aerobic and HIIT have never been my thing. When following exercise programs involving either I always fail or give up. Often leading to more negative feelings of failure. So in turn I tried other forms of exercise until I came up with a system that works for me.

I like a mixture of both strength and low impact exercises. Think lifting weights or winding down with some yoga. These are the types of exercise I love and the types I can happily include in my everyday routines. They may be polar opposites but that’s what makes it an effective plan. Depending on my mood I can choose to either sweat it out or chill out. Either way I’m moving my body in a constructive way and reaping the benefits.

Yoga for me is a time to relax and regroup. Moreover a way to help increase both my mental and physical fitness. It’s also something I do by myself for myself. While lifting weights I find a great way to rid myself of built up stress and tension.

Have you got an idea of what you enjoy? let me know your favourites type of exercise?

Exercise for Mental Health

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