With the gyms having been closed and team sports on hold, you might have missed your fix of the treadmill or the weekly banter with your netball team. On the other hand, you might be horrified at the thought of team sports and prefer a leisurely country walk with a pub lunch at the end. Whatever your idea of exercise, it is crucial that you make time for it. Why? Because exercise is not just good for our physical wellbeing, it is essential for our mental wellbeing too! If we were to list all the benefits of exercise, you could be reading this blog all day, but here are the important bits to help you understand why and how exercise can improve your mental wellbeing.
First, the science-y bit. Exercise decreases stress hormones such as cortisol and increases endorphins which is nicknamed the feel-good hormone! By exercising, you are naturally altering the chemicals in your brain that can ultimately make you feel better. It doesn’t need to be sweaty and uncomfortable if that doesn’t float your boat, a Tai Chi YouTube class can be just as effective on your mental wellbeing as a 5-a-side football match.
Exercise is also efficient in releasing musculoskeletal tension from your body, making you feel more relaxed. Whether you opt for a 30 minute Yoga class or 80 minutes on the rugby pitch, your body is working to relieve physical tension and make you shine in other areas of your life.
As well, physical activity can act as a distraction from negative thoughts, particularly if your exercise acts as a source of social support. If you’re having a busy day at work, ask your colleague if they would like to take a walk on your lunch break. While talking and walking you’re building meaningful relationships and heightening those endorphins - a great use of your time!
The point of exercise is to make you feel good, whether this is physically or mentally. So find something you love! Buy some sports leggings that make you feel fantastic using your MyActive discounts, join the gym that your friend has been banging on about, see what offers MyGym discounts has on, and keep experimenting until you find something perfect for you. Exercise must be something you enjoy or else it can be hard to motivate yourself to do it. With all the different types of exercise and sports out there, you will be sure to find something enjoyable. What are you going to try first?