Our bodies crave physical activity and movement. The connection between physical activity and physical health is well established. Exercise can lower blood pressure, alleviate chronic pain and decrease cardiovascular risk factors. Activity also has an important role in mental health. Often, when experiencing depression or anxiety physical activity is the last thing people are thinking about. However, activity can release feel good endorphins in our brain that can boost mood and help with conditions such as depression, anxiety and ADHD. Regular activity can also lead to decreased likelihood of depression or anxiety returning once symptoms have been alleviated. Exercise can improve energy and lead to more restful sleep. You don't have to be an exercise fanatic to receive benefit from activity. Even modest amounts of excessive can make a difference in mood. Going for a walk, trying a yoga class, biking or swimming are great options. Below are some tips that may help get you started.
Find fun and creative ways to incorporate movement into your schedule:
- Try walking or biking to work or school
- Join a club to help motivate you and keep you accountable
- Explore different fitness classes in your area. This can inspire you and keep you connected to others
- Work towards an event such as a fun 5k or bike race to inspire motivation
- Enlist a friend, family member or colleague to be your partner in crime. Try to motivate and encourage each other.
- Consider a fitness app that has downloadable workout ideas, tracks your progress and inspires you.
- Vary your routine to keep things interesting and to continue to challenge your body and mind.
- Find a routine that is realistic for you. If you are not a morning person trying an afternoon walk or hit up the gym for evening yoga. If you are exhausted at the end of the day and can't muster up the energy to exercise try a morning jog instead of an afternoon routine. Figuring out what works for you is the most important first step.
- Avoid excessive right before going to bed as this can interfere with sleep
You can start slow and begin building small goals for yourself. Your body and mind will thank you for it. We would love to talk to you more about how to get started!