As if the general day-to-day pressures of life aren’t enough, the last year has really put our mental health to the test. Global pandemics, lockdowns and isolation from friends and family has brought us more to deal with than we have experienced before.
Is it any wonder that there has been such an increase in people struggling with their mental health?
Turning to exercise to ease stress and improve mental health has long been recommended. Not only does exercise improve the quality of your life both from a physical and mental perspective, but it also helps to reduce anger, mild depression, anxiety and tension.
How Does Exercise Improve Mental Health?
Exercise increases endorphins, our feel-good neurotransmitters, and it also helps us to take our mind off any worries.
There are many benefits of exercise to overall health including…
- Strengthening of bones and muscles
- Improving immunity which in turn reduces the risk of infection and illness
- Reducing blood pressure
- Improving blood circulation
- Increasing the level of good cholesterol in the blood
- It helps you to get a better night’s sleep
- Increases energy levels
- Positively impacts on self-image
Regular exercise improves our general health which indirectly helps with our stress levels, creating a beneficial snowball effect.
How Much Exercise Do We Need?
You should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Moderate exercise examples are activities such as brisk walking, leisurely swimming or water aerobics, or gentle jogging or cycling.
The best way to achieve this is by breaking it down to 30-minute sessions over 5 days. If time is an issue then three 10-minute workouts throughout the day are as effective as one 30 minute session.
In addition to cardio exercise, it is recommended that you also do 2 sessions of muscle strengthening exercises each week. Aim to give all major muscle groups a workout such as back, chest, arms, shoulders, legs and core for full body strengthening.
Exercises That Help With Stress Relief
Any increase in activity will improve your health and contribute to you becoming physically and mentally fitter.
The most effective activity is the one you enjoy. Finding an activity you look forward to doing will make it all the more likely that you will stick to it.
If you are new to exercise and aren’t sure where to begin, a 1-2-1 session with a Personal Trainer will help get you started.
At Blue Ocean Fitness we will carry out an initial assessment where we discuss your goals, your barriers and your needs. We will also carry out a range of anthropometric measurements to assess your current health and fitness level. These enable us to measure your progress as you improve and become healthier. We will then create a bespoke plan just for you and support you at every step of the way.
Our aim is to help beginners or those new to exercise make the change to a better, healthier life.
You don’t need to be an athlete already.
You just need to start.
Working Out When You Don’t Feel Like It
Teaming up with a workout buddy is also an effective way of encouraging you to stick to a new regime and getting you to work out when you really don’t want to.
It will make you more accountable if you have someone else to think of. You will be less likely to pull out of a workout when someone else is relying on you to join them. Arranging an activity with a friend can make working out seem more like a fun social meeting rather than a chore. Make it a positive event to look forward to rather than something that you feel you have to do.
Check out our Group Sessions or get some of your friends and family together and arrange your own at a time to suit you. We’ll even come to the location of your choice! Find out more here.
Changing your life starts with a Personal Training 1-2-1 or group session at Blue Ocean Fitness.
Work out at our on-site facility at Blue Ocean Fitness in Maidstone or we can come to you through our Mobile Personal Training Service.
Book a session online, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text or WhatsApp Tania on 07761 867 123 for more information.