We all know that exercise is good for our health, and how important it is to stay active to maintain physical wellbeing…
But it’s not just our physical health that benefits from moving our body more; scientific studies now show the amazing benefits exercise has in improving and protecting our mental health.
Here’s how it works:
Improves Sleep 😴
Experts say that regular exercise can actually help you get deeper and better quality sleep. Not only that, but it can help reduce stress and worry, which can be the major reason why people lose sleep at night.
Better sleep = better mood!
*The only caveat here is that you should not do aerobic exercise too late at night, as this will raise your body temperature and cause too much stimulation before bedtime making it harder to sleep.
Reduces Anxiety 😫
Exercise helps to burn off and reduce all the excess hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol that are floating around your body when you are suffering from anxiety or stress.
This not only helps reduce anxiety symptoms – but also helps build a buffer against stress and reduce your body’s reactivity to it in the future.
Clears Brain Fog 🤯
Regular exercise has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain – which helps reduce those annoying symptoms of brain fog. It has been shown to improve memory, focus and attention.
Helping you think clearer and stop doing things like putting your keys in the fridge when you are stressed. 😜
Elevates Mood 😀
Scientific studies show that regular exercise generates feel good hormones and chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin that instantly help boost your mood and make you feel good!
Increases Social Interaction 👩🏼🤝👩🏼
When you get out and exercise you are likely to be interacting with more people – whether it’s just waving to passers by, or exercising with friends or teammates. Exercise is a great way to engage in social connection and reap the benefits of being with others, which is something that is super important for our mental wellbeing!
So how do you stay motivated??
Exercise comes in many different forms, and it is important to find ways to move your body that feel good for you!
You may enjoy running, walking, dancing, playing sport, boxing, gym classes, yoga, pilates, rock climbing, or cycling. Whatever feels good for you, do that! Because this will help you stick to a routine and keep with it.
There is no use choosing a form of exercise that you dislike, or that feels too difficult straight up. This will only lead to you giving up!
You can try listening to your favourite music or podcast whilst you exercise, this is called temptation bundling – and can help you build a routine and stay motivated!
Or why not find an exercise buddy to help motivate you and keep you accountable? Even if that buddy is of the furry kind, as walking a dog can really help you stay active and accountable. It doesn’t take long for dogs to fall in love with the habit of walking everyday, and they will definitely remind you!!
The important thing is – start small!
And try to develop a regular routine that is achievable and enjoyable for you…
You will soon find that exercise can be one of the most valuable tools in your toolkit against anxiety!