When we’re going through a hard time mentally, one of the first pieces of advice that we read is always to start exercising. It’s easy to brush it off but it really can help you think more clearly and start to feel better, here’s just a few of the reasons you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss fitness as a mental health solution:
First off, getting up is the hardest part. The motivation required to get up, put on your workout clothes and get to your desired exercised spot requires much more energy than the actual exercise! Once you have that in mind, it’s a lot easier to start, knowing you’ve already crossed the first hurdle. By reading this, you’re already thinking of making the change to more exercise, so you’ve really completed the first and maybe even hardest step already!
So, what’s the science behind exercise aiding your mental health? Well, of course, exercise releases endorphins, these are your brains natural reward system and the chemicals you’re flooded with to feel good. More than just chemically, it helps you get out all your anxious energy and channel it into a productive task. It also gets you up and moving which is especially important in our increasingly as sedentary culture consumed by passive screen scrolling, getting up and moving can be such a welcome break. Your body will feel better, its designed to move after all, that’s why it rewards you with the feel-good endorphins! It’s great to focus on something purely physical, instead of letting
your mind spiral you are completely distracted thinking about using your body, your form and what you’re achieving. Afterwards you have something to feel proud of, you’ve set out on a task and completed it, and we all know once you cross one thing off your to-do list, the rest seems a lot more manageable.
If life feels particularly hectic and overwhelming, exercise can really function to start to bring your life into order again. Creating a routine and sticking to it gives you something to hold on to and plan your life around, outside of focusing on what you have to schedule in to do for family or work it’s something you can schedule to do just for yourself. It also gives you a reason to get out the house to somewhere you don’t need to wait for another person to make time with or spend wasteful amounts of money on, you’re investing in yourself, your body and your happiness.
Simultaneously benefiting your mind and body, an excellent mood regulator and improving your fitness- what’s more to want? Of course, it doesn’t substitute a need for medical mental health care but is certainly an important complimentary aspect and even suggested by the NHS! If you’re just feeling a bit down, not yourself, have cabin fever or just feel plain sluggish, exercise is a great solution!
So, don’t hesitate book in for the start of an all-around healthier you today!
Words by Katie Baker