Exercise is a part of our everyday lives but it does more than just keeping our physique in shape! In a culture where we’re constantly worried about our health and appearance; exercise has been perennially promoted as a way of improving our self image. Yet, we can often forget about the vital effect it has on our brains. In this confusing and overwhelming time, we’re finally starting to realise the benefits that exercise has on our mental health and well-being. We should recognise our minds as something we simply cannot neglect. The mind drives us through our life and its challenges and it is suggested that you should exercise your mind and brain just like you would any muscle, skill or ability.
Want to know the reasons why you should be incorporating at least one form of exercise into your days and weeks during this pandemic? Then read on for a dose of mindfulness in Mental Health Under Quarantine: 5 Reasons Why You Must Exercise!
1. Happy Hormones to the Rescue!
Before the coronavirus (Covid-19) period, some of the activities that kept us happy and stimulated probably included seeing our friends and family. Several people have mentioned a need to join social groups online and online group counselling for various challenges being faced right now. If you think this might be helpful for you too, take a look at: https://www.regain.us/advice/counseling/the-top-ten-benefits-of-group-counseling/
We might realise that, before lockdown, going to our favourite gym classes or sports sessions, place of work etc was something we simply took for granted, it kept us ticking along and satisfied! To fill this void and to keep loneliness at bay, exercise will help through the releasing of those happy hormones that we need now more than ever.
The right balance of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin will help us feel more content with our situation at the moment while reducing the stress/fear hormone, cortisol. This hormone could be running on overdrive, as our brains try to understand, cope and comprehend the challenges ahead!
2. Encourages Structure into Your Day
Having a structure to your days right now is key! It will help you feel more organised and give you a greater sense of control.
Our normal routines may have been snatched away from most of us and that’s why it’s even more important to build and maintain your own ‘home-based’ routine. Exercise does this fantastically well. Once you have a routine established it will assuredly put you in a much better head-space as well as keep you grounded, focused and motivated.
3. Recognise the Opportunity to Exercise Outside as it’s Limited!
The government has given us general guidelines – of leaving our homes to get some exercise in. It’s important that we are sensible about it and use this window to our advantage.
Leaving the constraints of our homes can help to free our brains. We can do this through our daily exercise whether that be working out in the garden or park, going for a stroll, run or cycle. These things help to get us some much needed air (or ‘liquid life force’ if you want to get technical about it) into our lungs and improve our mood.
4. Improves Your Level of Deep Sleep
Many of us struggle to sleep at the moment as our brains are working overtime. Exercise make us feel more naturally tired and accomplished, which in turn makes us feel more mentally and physically relaxed and able to just let go of worries!
You can easily combine light exercises into your days such as doing chores with a little more thought, yoga, walking, meditation, or simply clearing up the garden or gathering things to give away to charity. Ah, let go!
5. A Great Time Investment
As we’re all at home a lot more at the moment, we’re getting to spend a lot more time with ourselves. Exercise is an activity that uplifts your day with hope and positivity so that you don’t spend all your days in your PJ’s with ice-cream binge-watching endless TV shows on Netflix! (Yawn…why watch everyone else’s scripts? Live your own life and write your own, much more fun!)
Exercise is a great way to stay present and enjoy every moment; another secret is that the rhythmical breathing cycles promoted by exercise allow you to more consciously choose your own (positive) thoughts in the private studio of your own mind. Life is a movie!