Everyone knows, and numerous medical studies have shown, that regular exercise provides multiple benefits for the body’s overall health. However, are you aware that exercise is also one of the most effective ways for improving mental health? Undertaking a regular exercise regime, no matter how big or small, can have positive effects on anxiety, depression and more. Your stress levels are naturally reduced, mood improves and energy levels increase all from the effects of exercise.
So, how much exercise do you need to reap the benefits? Unlikely as much as you imagine! Surprisingly, you don’t need to be a gym rat or run marathon distances to reap your rewards. As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day is all you need to see improvements in physical and mental health. Break this recommended daily time up into more manageable segments such as 3, 10 minute sessions if your this approach better meets your daily schedule. Never feel that you have to dive right in and meet this target if you are not used to any type of regular or consistent exercise. Start out with 5 minutes of moderate exercise (walking, jogging/running, swimming etc) and take a 60 second break, then continue for another 5 minutes and then repeat. The idea is to slowly build up to 30 minutes a day (or more if your body is able) to start enjoying the benefits of physical activity. If you struggle during the week to find the time, then focus on the weekend and set reasonable time and activity goals.
You don’t need to “suffer” to achieve success and positive change. Moderate exercise means that you are breathing a little heavier than normal after completing your activity. You don’t want to be “out of breath” and should still be able to hold a conversation. Your body temperature should be warmer than normal after completing your exercise routine but you don’t need to be “sweating buckets”.
If you want to enjoy higher self-worth, better sleep, increased energy levels, clarity of mind and do away with feelings of stress and anxiety, make a plan and start slowly. Find a friend who wants to achieve the same results and exercise together to make it enjoyable. Consistency is key and before you know it, you will see marked improvements in your physical and mental health.