You don’t have to see a doctor to write a fitness prescription for yourself! This is one area that self-diagnosis is allowed and positively encouraged to improve your whole wellbeing.
I use exercise to keep my mental health stronger as well as my physical self, so I know it works. Being active is good for our mind, body and soul – every minute of activity counts and you’ll see improvements in sleep, mood, energy levels and pain management.
Doctors tell us that getting fit will reduce the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers but there are also loads of benefits to our mental health, like:
Connecting with people and nature
Increasing memory and brain function
In fact, exercise is about so much more than building muscles and stamina, trimming the waist and extending our life. People who exercise regularly tend to do it because they get a great sense of wellbeing and they want to repeat it! Exercise is a powerful medicine for our mental health challenges.
And if you’re worried that you’ll need to be a full-on workout warrior to reap the rewards, that’s not the case! Even modest levels of exercise can make a difference – for all ages and fitness levels. We can all prescribe ourselves some exercise to improve our energy and feel able to handle all of life’s challenges.
When we’re stressed, we often tense our muscles around the face, neck and shoulders and this can lead to headaches, back and neck pain. We might even feel a tightness across the chest, shallow breathing and a racing heart rate.
Exercising is an easy, drug-free way to break the cycle of stress and worry. Exercise releases endorphins (our happy hormones) which help to relax muscles and relieve tension.
Moderate exercise means 30 minutes five times a week, so that you breathe heavier (but can still talk) and feel warmer. And if that still feels like a big step, break it down into smaller chunks of 10/15 minutes. Starting small and building up is the best way to stay active and not give up. When you can make exercise as normal as putting on your shoes, the benefits will really pile up.
At Gemma Pearce Fitness, we are all about the mental health benefits of exercise – making it fun, sociable and easy. Check out the different ways you can get fit and stay fit at www.gemmapearcefitness.co.uk
Find out more about our online exercise classes and face to face fitness classes in Didcot & Abingdon at www.gemmapearcefitness.co.uk
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