Exercise for the Mind

Recently, there has been an emphasis on the mental benefits of exercise as well as the physical. For me, it is so much more than wanting visible abs or toned legs. I think the sooner you can get away from that, you can appreciate the bigger picture of exercising.

I have listened to some motivational books recently- ‘How to be Fucking Awesome’ and ‘The Miracle Morning’, as well as some podcasts by ‘takefl1ght’ and ‘The Food Medic’. I know this is just a few which discusses the benefits of exercising regularly.

They say you never regret a workout and I feel this is true. If I am feeling a bit ‘bleugh’ and think I’ll benefit more from a nap, I try to tell myself to go to the gym and just do something.

Whether it is going a walk outside, taking part in a Pilates class or going to the gym for a HIIT session, I reap the numerous benefits of exercising. I automatically feel happier and less stressed and anxious. I noticed this more during my final exams and writing my dissertation that taking an hour out to do any of the above allowed me to clear my head and start fresh.

In her podcast, ‘The Food Medic’ (Hazel Wallace) is joined by a physiotherapist, Brendan Stubbs. They discuss the relationship between exercise and mental health. As some of my posts may highlight, I am very intrigued by this topic and always keen to hear others views on the matter. There is evidence that this can help reduce anxiety, depression and PTSD. I know this can sound difficult to initially overcome this barrier, but it is also important to find what works for you. If you really do not like the thought of 30 minutes of trying to catch your breath in a HIIT class and you have tried a variety of sessions and teachers- do not force yourself! Find what you love. If the thought of the gym is making you more anxious, look at alternatives. Look at studios that may be less intimidating or perhaps one with a pool to do water-based classes. Everyone is different and it is ok to try different options.

Exercise can help with your sleeping pattern (not just by making you exhausted after a workout) in fact, I feel quite the opposite but when I do get to sleep, I feel it is better and deeper.

Think about getting a fitness watch. I love my Fitbit and sometimes it’s all I need to remind me to get up and walk about. I am guilty of sitting on my phone for what feels like ten minutes and realising an hour or two has gone by.

Enhance your self-esteem and release some endorphins by finding what works for you! Even if you have a deadline coming up very soon, take half an hour out, exercise and start again. I promise it will pay off!

What is your main reason for exercising? 

Thanks for reading

Hannah x

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“It’s the mind itself which shapes the body”

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