We shouldn’t overlook the importance of staying fit, active, and healthy during this time. Provided it’s carried out away from others, then regular, daily exercise will help better maintain the way the immune system works. NHS guidelines recommend we do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week.
People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term (chronic) conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
Research shows that physical activity can also boost energy, self-esteem, mood, and sleep quality, as well as reducing your risk of stress and depression.
It’s so easy to become sluggish when stuck at home, if you need an energy pick up during the day a workout will do you wonders!
Endorphins are our body’s natural hormones. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain that reduce our perception of pain.
Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body!
Exercise also boosts our cardiovascular health, which allows you to have greater endurance throughout the day. When it’s easier to do your daily activities, you’ll have energy leftover and not feel so tired when work is done.
A recent study has found that exercising regularly helps to boost creativity and that there is a direct link between physical activity and our creative minds. The study revealed that people who exercised four times per week were able to think more creatively in a series of tests, than those who experienced a more sedate lifestyle, proving that moving helps us think better!
Mood Booster/Stress Reducer
It’s normal that the current situation will get us all down at times, regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression and anxiety. It also relieves stress, improves memory, and boosts your overall mood.
Exercise is a great depression fighter for many reasons. It promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. As mentioned previously it also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energise your spirits and make you feel good.
Working out can also serve as a great distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to have a break from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.
Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It can relieve tension and stress, boost your physical and mental energy, and enhance well-being. Anything that gets you moving can help, but you’ll get a bigger benefit if you pay attention instead of zoning out.
Physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. Our muscles may be tense, especially in your face, neck, and shoulders, leaving you with back or neck pain, or painful headaches. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so will your mind!
Training makes us feel great and better about ourselves, this can give us confidence in ourselves across all aspects of our life!
Improves Sleep Quality
It’s likely we will all be moving less in the coming weeks, exercise has been proven to improve sleep patterns.
Exercise allows you to get a better night’s rest, when you get high-quality sleep, you feel more refreshed during the day. A study published in April 2015 in the Journal of Sleep Research looked at individuals with insomnia who engaged in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity spread over the course of a week. Researchers found that this amount of physical activity was associated not only with a significant reduction in the severity of insomnia symptoms, but an elevation in mood as well.
A study that looked at the effects of a single exercise session found that about of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (e.g., walking) reduced the time it took to fall asleep and increased the length of sleep of people with chronic insomnia compared to a night in which they did not exercise. Similar results have been found for studies that examined the effects of long-term exercise on sleep in adults with insomnia. In these studies, after 4 to 24 weeks of exercise, adults with insomnia fell asleep more quickly, slept slightly longer, and had better sleep quality than before they began exercising.
When we exercise it triggers an increase in body temperature and the post-exercise drop in temperature may promote falling asleep. Exercise may also reduce insomnia by decreasing arousal, anxiety, and depressive symptoms.
So all in all training can give us energy, boost our mood and help us have a better quality of sleep! It can make us feel great about ourselves, giving us invaluable confidence in ourselves across all aspects of our life!
At Intent91 we will be here to maintain and improve all of our member’s physical and mental wellbeing throughout lockdown with the highest level of coaching, community, and care!
Written by Natalie Evans, Junior Coach.