We all know that exercise is good for the body. Numerous articles and scientific studies tell us that exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mental health. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. No matter your age, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better. However, we are all human and even though we know the benefits it is hard to initiate and stick to our exercise goals.
Over the past couple months, I have made personal goals to increase my daily exercise and improve my diet. Over this period of time I have honored my goals on certain days, and failed the next. But that is life, we get up and try again, try to do better.
Some people can get away with doing very little and live to a ripe old age – but most of us can’t. Broadly speaking, the less you do, the more likely you are to end up with:
- low mood / depression
- tension and worry.
If you keep active, you are:
- less likely to be depressed, anxious or tense
- more likely to feel good about yourself
- more likely to concentrate and focus better
- more likely to sleep better
- more likely to cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms if you try to give up a habit, such as smoking or alcohol
- more likely to be able to keep mobile and independent as you get older
- possibly less likely to have problems with memory and dementia.
So – don’t worry about not doing enough – get started by building a bit more physical activity into your daily life now. Even a small change can boost your morale, give you a sense of achievement and help you to feel better in yourself. During my work week, life can become hectic. So if you can’t find time to exercise during the week, become a weekend warrior. A recent study in the UK found that people who squeeze their exercise routines into one or two sessions at the weekend experience almost as many health benefits as those who work out more often.
So don’t let a busy schedule at work, home, or school be an excuse to avoid activity. Get moving whenever you can find the time—your mind and body will thank you!