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  • Writer's pictureJohn Gonzalez

Exercise for the Mind!

You may already know that exercise is good for the body – improving the health of our heart, bones, nerves, joints and muscles.

What is becoming more evident is how good exercise can be for our brain and mental wellbeing as well.

It’s a win-win situation - something which can be free, can have such a positive impact on our mental and physical well-being.

Some of the mental benefits are:

Sharper memory and thinking – the endorphin release of exercise doesn’t just help you feel good, but it also helps you think clearer and improves problem solving skills.

Improves self-esteem – many studies show that regular exercise helps us feel better about ourselves, both physically and mentally.

Better sleep – exercising helps improve the quality of sleep and better sleep has been shown to help our mental health.

Increases energy – although the act of exercise can be tiring, the overall effect is to give us more energy and ‘get-up-and-go’.

Increased resilience – feeling fitter, stronger, having more energy has been shown to helps us mentally cope better with what life throws at us.

It can also help to treat anxiety and depression, with some people being able to ditch the medications and use exercise as their treatment of choice (always do this in conjunction with a doctor) – that just shows the power of exercise.

It all sounds too good to be true – exercise helps our physical and mental well-being, but why don’t we all do it?

It can be hard to get started – but the key is just to get started.

There are always excuses and things that get in the way – but there are always ways to squeeze some exercise into our lives, especially when it is so good for us.

Also, it is probably not as strenuous or time-consuming as you think to get the benefits – anything that raises your heart rate and breathing for around 20-minutes a day.

20-minutes a day! That’s it – and that can be broken up into smaller timeframes. Or, you can do a longer session a few times a week to make up the numbers – you can do it how you like.

You can go for a walk, have a dance in the kitchen, kick a ball around, park further away from work or if you work from home, use the time you used to spend in traffic or on the train getting out and about – you can do anything that raises your heart rate.

The key is to find something you will stick to and hopefully enjoy. That is different for everyone – some are motivated by saving money (walking to save petrol), the environment (see previous), socialising (more benefits for our mental health) or just because we know we should be doing it. It doesn’t matter what your motivation is, the key is to get that 20-minutes on average a day.

If you're having barriers to exercising and getting active, just get in touch!

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