Making fitness part of our lifestyle is one of the best moves we could ever make. The benefits of exercise are not just physical but also psychological, making us not only look better but, more importantly, feel better about ourselves.
All too often the motivation to get fit is to look good on the outside but if we can reconsider our reasons to want to get fit and concentrate on the good that this can do within us then we start out on a much firmer foot.
Much research has been done in recent times, which suggests that regular exercise can help reduce many of the symptoms of common mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and panic disorder.
The benefits of exercise
The internal benefits of exercise can be experienced quickly, even after just one exercise session. We can raise our self-esteem and self-worth just by getting started. We don’t need to head straight for the gym if that seems daunting. Walking, dancing, and aerobic exercise using a DVD are just a few examples of how we can begin to change a previously sedentary lifestyle.
Experts say that the regularity of exercise is just as important as the duration and level of exertion required to do it. So we must consider making exercise a regular part of our day to day lives. We must, therefore, stop making excuses such as lack of time, lack of money and feelings of being self-conscious. These are three of the main excuses which are commonly used to put off exercise.
We all need to feel motivation to get started. Consider some of the benefits we can experience from regular exercise and you are sure to see the sense that it makes:
- Sleeping better
- Feeling stronger to tackle other lifestyle changes
- Thinking more clearly
- More get-up-and-go
- Feeling in control
- A sense of achievement
- Increased strength to cope with life’s pressures
- Able to relax
- More alert with improved concentration
- Enjoying ‘me time’
David Morell, our fitness expert explains 'Just remember that we can actually enjoy the experience of exercise. Being able to walk, dance, run, jump, hop, skip, etc. is a wonderful gift so let’s embrace it. Even if we have a physical limitation we can reap these benefits, we don’t have to take part in the Paralympics we can exercise from our chairs.'
Whilst we are considering the benefits which can be made to mental health through fitness it is worth also considering the many physical benefits which can involve the reduced risk of:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Joint and back problems
- Dementia in later life
If, after reading all of the above, you are still not convinced that exercise is for you, there is further information available which may be of interest to you please see our relevant guides and news below.