There’s no denying the benefits of physical exercise for our bodies, however often overlooked is the proven positive effect it can have on our mental well being. Of course, whilst it is important that we take care of our physical health, it is equally important to ensure we are looking after our mental health. In today’s world it is easy to neglect our own mental well being and simply incorporating some regular exercise can help to maintain a positive mental well being.
When we engage in physical activity, chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin are released which can positively alter our mood by making us feel good and boosting our energy levels. Exercising has been shown to help people suffering from mild depression and anxiety. It can also help to ease stress and help with trouble sleeping by releasing cortisol – offering a positive coping strategy for life.
Exercise can enhance our self-esteem; it shows we can rise to a challenge and overcome barriers. If desired weight loss occurs than this will only further serve to boost self-esteem. If you don’t like the thought of going to the gym there are a wide range of alternatives – the key is finding something you are going to enjoy and can fit into your daily life. If you are conscious of exercising in front of others, try something at home; there is a wide range of home gym equipment available and suitable for all abilities.
Exercising can put you in touch with people. If you are feeling isolated or alone it is a fantastic way to meet people and feel a strong sense of support. Whether it’s joining your local netball squad and being part of a close-knit team or creating a Peloton profile and finding virtual support amongst an army – the moral support can be of phenomenal value.
Setting yourself realistic goals will help to motivate you to continue exercising. Seeing the progress made after regular sessions will encourage you to keep going. Log your progress online or invest in a pedometer – or simply keep your own log – just be realistic and remember to start gradually.
If you are unsure where to start could seek advice from your doctor or head to the NHS website via this link https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/ to find out more on the recommended level of exercise for you. For more advice on mental health check out the following link https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/.