Positive Effects of Exercise

With everything that’s going on right now we are bound to feel off balance and we may have more intense emotions.

This week my hormones have sent me a bit crazy, I always get mood swings before my period but they have definitely felt more intense this time. 

Exercise and daily walks are getting me through this time! I always feel better after a workout, no matter how much I don’t want to start one.

We are just heading into another 3-weeks of lockdown so I wanted to share with you the mental health benefits that you can get from adding in some physical activity to your day and to give some ideas on how to add some in.

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

  • – Better Sleep – adding in exercise can make you feel more tired at the end of the day.
  • – Happier Moods – physical activity releases feel-good hormones that make you feel better and give you more energy.
  • – As you set and meet goals, you feel better about yourself.
  • – If you see physical changes this can increase your confidence.
  • – Regular life activities seem easier physically, like carrying shopping etc.
  • Increases energy – exercise can feel like the last thing you want to do when you’re tired but will actually leave you feeling energised.
  • – Connecting with people especially at this time can help to lift your mood, I started an online programme last week where I do live workouts in a group and even though I can’t see the participants, I read out their comments and talk to them and they are all massively enjoying the motivation and connection.
  • – Stop your mind wondering – by really concentrating on the task at hand you can stop stresses and concerns growing in your mind, like mindfulness.

Tips for starting to exercise during lockdown

  • Set a timetable/schedule – pick a time each day to do a physical activity or workout.
  • – Start slowly and increase over time – 5 to 10 minutes daily would be a great place to start.
  • – Keep it achievable – don’t set yourself a huge challenge that will be hard to stick to as this could demotivate you quite early on.
  • Pick a time of day when you have more energy, or get it done early to boost your mood for the day.
  • – Pick something you have enjoyed in the past – there are lots of free workouts and tutorials on YouTube.
  • – Try something new that you have never dared try in person – in the comfort of your own home could be the best time to build confidence in a new activity, you may even feel ready to try a class in person once this is all over.
  • – Drag a friend along digitally – to an online class  hosted by an instructor or even pick and plan youtube workouts to complete together. You could use ZOOM but mute each other so that you can see each other going through the workout.
  • – Females: Listen to your body through your hormonal cycle – your period week and the week after will be your strongest weeks for working out and the next two weeks, workouts may feel tough (but will still be beneficial) so you might want to go for calmer activities. 
  • Add in a daily walk as your exercise/activity or in addition to – I walk daily as we live in a flat and the fresh air, sunshine and outdoor movement always improves my mood!
  • – Be kind to yourself – some days you wont want to and that’s fine. Maybe have alternatives like stretch routine in case you don’t want to leave the house or do something energetic. 

Different activities you could try

Fill up a backpack with bottles of water.
Tape some water bottles together for hand weights.

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