Exercise has been a healthy saviour for me over the years in periods when life has been a bit tough or I’m just feeling a bit flat or unhealthy. A lot of people may relate to the feeling of being a bit overwhelmed with the daily grind some days, feeling stressed, can’t sleep and are perhaps experiencing a little bit of ‘flight mode’. Well why not turn that flight mode and adrenalin into a run, a walk, cycle or a swim? It doesn’t take much to start with small, achievable goals such as walking 10 minutes around the block or up to the shops for the paper instead of driving, and slowly increasing the activity as fitness levels improve. Just remember doing something is better than nothing and fit and healthy looks different on every person so check with your Doctor if you’re concerned about your health before starting an exercise regime.
Emotional Well-being: Exercising stimulates a chemical reaction in your brain and helps release endorphins into your body which not only help reduce the feeling of pain but also triggers your body to have a happy, positive feeling that is likened to the effects of morphine, only much better for you of course. So next time when the phone has been ringing all day in customer service with cranky consumers on the other end who is driving you bonkers; use your lunch break to get outside in the sun and go for a stroll to reset your stress levels instead of hiding in the tea room clutching for the coffee and the last Marie biscuit someone so generously left for you.
Weight management: Regular exercise combined with a balanced diet burns those calories you put in (such as when you grabbed the last Marie biscuit anyway because it was very comforting) and prevents weight gain and assists with maintaining a healthy weight. The more intensive the exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. The better you feel in yourself and your body, can also lead to improved emotional well-being and self-esteem.
“Steptember” is a great example of how everyone can not only help raise funds for Cerebral Palsy research, but participate as a team or individually to achieve 10,000 steps per day. Tip: Keep an eye on your fitness tracker if you’re in a sedentary job, and you might be surprised to see that you might only average approximately 800 steps per day. (https://www.steptember.org.au/)
Increase energy levels and prevent health problems and disease: Exercise can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues to helps cardiovascular health. When your heart and lungs are working well, you have more energy.
Exercise can help you sleep & may improve your sex life: Physical activity can help improve sleep time and quality and may also help because it can relieve stress and obviously tires you out. Feeling tired, stressed or unhappy with your own appearance may lead to a lack of interest in intimacy and that’s where exercise can increase energy levels, release those endorphins and improve self-esteem to help put some spark back into the bedroom. It’s the ideal combination really and you can even have sex to exercise and improve sleep quality. Win Win!
Get social: Join a team sport, go walking with a friend, start a walking group for Mums and bubs, join a gym or participate in a yoga class; the exercise and the natter are great for the body and the soul.
Remember, a small change every day can lead to big things.