The human body was designed for activity. Most people are aware of the physical benefits associated with exercise, however the psychological benefits of exercise can be equally, if not more, important.
Often my young Boot Campers are motivated to exercise because of the physical benefits and rewards. My older clients are more willing to exercise due to the enormous sense of wellbeing and greater energy levels they achieve.
Exercise improves mental health and gives you a positive feeling. I definitely have my own experience of this. In late 2012 after having my fourth child, the stress of raising a young family led me down a destructive path. I had a negative mindset and bad habits, which I justified by thinking it was normal to be inactive when raising young kids. I constantly told myself I needed to put the kids first, even ahead of my own mental health. After gaining 30kg and feeling completely helpless when I discovered I couldn’t run the length of our backyard, I knew I had to change.
Once I started exercising, I gained back control of my life. With a clear head I discovered my mental health was just as important as the kids were. I also realised by neglecting my health, my family’s happiness was inhibited. When I was inactive, I was depressed, lazy and moody. Now that I am active, I have more energy and I feel amazing, making me a positive person to be around. Exercise makes me happy and if I am happy, my family are happy too!
The psychological benefits of exercise are truly outstanding. Below are just some of the ways exercise can boost the health of your mind and spirit, as well as your body:
Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
Do you want to be happy? Exercise stimulates endorphins which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Recent studies have shown that exercise reduces stress and alleviates symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can even be as effective as antidepressant medication. For this reason, doctors often recommend exercise to people who are suffering from depression or anxiety.
Boosts brain power
Regular exercise stimulates the growth of brain cells, giving you a better memory. The same endorphins that make you happier also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp during your daily tasks. This allows you to be more productive and achieve so much more.
If you are tired, you will struggle to operate at your full potential. A regular exercise routine contributes to improved sleep by promoting good sleeping patterns. Exercise has even been known to improve sleep for people with sleep disorders.
We all want more energy and the good news is you don’t have to be a fitness freak to reap the rewards of exercise. Modest amounts of exercise can make a huge difference to your wellbeing, no matter your age or fitness level. Even the smallest amount of exercise will help. Start off with just a few minutes of exercise a day and increase the volume of your workout when you have more energy. For the best results; regular exercise is recommended, training for 30 minutes, 3-5 times per week is considered to be great for your health, fitness and wellbeing.
If you want a healthy addiction then a good exercise regime is the perfect choice. When faced with mental or emotional challenges, exercise is ideal for building resilience. Exercise is also considered to be a positive coping mechanism in times of stress. This makes it a healthy alternative to drugs, alcohol, or other negative habits which ultimately makes a challenging situation worse.
Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body and soul. It makes you feel confident, strong and powerful. When you have a high self-esteem, you are more confident to take on challenges.
Improved Quality of life
You are important and deserve the best life. I believe the key to a good quality life is to be active. I understand that exercising can be extremely challenging, however this is because you may be limited by your own mindsets, not so much your physical capability.
Don’t wait until it is too late, get your exercise shoes on because even a 10 minute walk is better than sitting on the couch and feeling sorry for yourself!
Change your mindset and then you will change your life, you can do this!
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