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Physical exercise is without doubt one of the best stress relievers around. It gives us time and headspace to focus on ourselves. Exercise also burns off the chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol that our bodies produce in times of stress and anxiety. If you could find even just 15 minutes a day to go for a brisk walk it would do you the power of good both physically AND mentally.

What’s the link between doing physical activities and our mental health?

Reebok. one of the world’s leading athletic wear brands put this question to some of their experts. Jo Howarth  from the Happiness Club confirms exercise is without doubt one of the best stress relievers around.

“Apart from the fact that it gives us time and headspace to focus on ourselves, it also burns off the chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol that our bodies produce in times of stress and anxiety. If you could find even just 15 minutes a day to go for a brisk walk it would do you the power of good both physically AND mentally.”

Her views are echoed by  Diren Kartal, seasoned qualified personal trainer, online coach and fitness influencer. The dynamic  personality  says it’s about how having a consistent fitness routine. Physical exercise helps  people physically but also mentally too – meaning they are more likely to want to keep up this routine.

Physical activity helps you to be become mentally stronger

Kartal adds, “Mental and physical wellbeing go hand in hand. There are so many stresses in our day to day lives, so it is more important than ever to give ourselves time and space to exert that stress energy. This may be through going for a walk, going to the gym, going for a run, or whichever physical activity we choose. Exercise helps us mentally so much through the endorphins that it releases in our brain.”

Consistency brings  healthy long term results

Physical Activity

Diren Kartal

“When we are physically more active and in a better place mentally we are naturally more motivated and we feel rewarded after that exercise because of those endorphins. This motivation helps us stay consistent and it’s consistency which gives us long-term results both on a mental and physical level.”

Find a trainer

Coach, writer, personal trainer, Melody Coleman believes exercise goes hand in hand with mental health.  She highlights the importance of finding a fitness trainer to build better exercise habits and to make sure you are not over-exerting yourself; “Modern living can wreak havoc on our mental wellbeing. Sedentary lifestyles are a risk factor for symptoms of mental illness, including excessive fatigue, anxiety and depression.”

Create new habits

There are 10 basic lifestyle habits we must have in place to optimise wellbeing. Exercise is one of the top 3 things we can do to better our mental health for life. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins – known for making us feel fantastic after a workout – and the hormones serotonin and dopamine, required for positive mental wellbeing.

Physical with Melody

Melody Coleman

“The benefits of exercise aren’t purely chemical. When done intentionally, exercise builds the skills required to achieve and maintain good mental health. This includes resilience, consistency, and a better mind/body connection.

“Hiring a personal trainer is one of the most valuable investments you can make for your mental wellbeing.

Fast track your training

It can be hard to get started building better habits, and the accountability and encouragement you’ll receive from a PT will massively increase your chances of sticking with exercise.

“I’d strongly recommend seeking out a PT who can coach your mind as well as your body, as some of the biggest obstacles to exercise and mental wellbeing exist in our minds. Overcoming this will fast-track training progress whilst improving your thinking habits in general,” explains Coleman.

When you want to create positive lifestyle changes, it’s inspiring to spend time with people already modelling the behaviours you’d like to adopt, and can help you clearly envisage the journey and take action.

If you hire a personal trainer you can sidestep anxiety or overwhelm. This will also enable you to train safely and effectively straight away, learning only what you need to know whilst avoiding injury. You’ll make faster progress collaborating with a PT than you would on your own.”

An important caveat is that it IS possible to over do it…

“Exercise alone isn’t a replacement for an overall healthy lifestyle. Whilst it’s possible to use exercise as a short-term mood booster, long term it’s essential to get a good set of lifestyle habits in place.”

Exercise programming

People often assume that exercise should push you to your limit every time. In reality programming needs to be sustainable in order to keep you in the game physically and mentally. Consistent, moderate effort yields the best results.

Exercise programming is a science that should take into account lifestyle factors such as stress, availability of resources e.g. time/energy/space, and so is best written by a professional. A great PT will prescribe exercise that increases your ability to engage with life, not drain you.”

physical4 compelling ideas to help you get physical

Use wearable technologies 

By tracking your progress, you will be incentivized to start and keep going. Wearables also helps you benchmark against others.

Invest in a home exercise gym

These days you can more easily work out at home and in the gym, in the same way as they go to a restaurant and at the same time use a home delivery service.

There are tons of apps that can help you train at home. There are also many home gym providers,  like Technogym who offer the complete solution from app to equipment. This makes it so much easier to set up and get going.

Sign up for live and on-demand online exercise classes

Online and virtual training is booming due to the alternating long lockdown periods and closures of fitness centres,   If you invest in basic equipment and sign up for classes, you can get active from your home anytime.

Get outdoors

Truth be told, there’s really is no excuse not to get physical, other than your mindset. You don’t beed a big budget to get physical. Running,  walking, hiking, swimming (in lakes, lagoons or the ocean) are all free and don’t require much other than an investment in good shoes or in the case of swimming, a swimsuit.

Start now

Reebok asked personal trainer, Joe Mitton, to give his top five starter-exercise recommendations for those who want to ease into an everyday fitness routine at home:

Physical with Reebok

References

Reebok: https://www.reebok.co.uk/blog/822685-fitness_training-trainer-index

TechnogymDownload the guide to the Fitness Trends 2022

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Em Sloane

I am an introverted nature lover, and freelance writer. I love sharing new insights on how to live a healthier life using nature's gifts. Be kind. Be generous. Love. Peace. Humanity.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.