It is not uncommon for me to talk with someone about physical activities and they automatically attach it to losing fat or gaining muscle. Yes, being physically active does help with those things but it is also about improving your physical and mental well-being.
Being active helps decrease multiple physical health related issues which include diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol (all which can have a negative impact on one’s mental health). In addition, it helps to increase sleep and energy levels. On the mental health side, it assists in decreasing anxiety, stress, depression (all which can have a negative impact on one’s physical health) and creates an overall better mood.
Being Sedentary is the Nemesis to Better Health!
I can quote some research studies proving the above information, but I won’t, I am going to save that for another article which I plan on being more specific on this topic. The purpose of this article is to give you some general information on the impact of physical activities on mental health to get you thinking about it. If you have any specific questions on this topic, please email me with them and I will try to address them in the next article I write. (No, I will not use your email for spam or any other business purposes.)
Anyways, back on track.... One reason why I am not going to quote studies because I have seen the positive effects of physical activities firsthand with not only my clients, but myself as well. It works! It is not a miracle answer to all your mental and physical health problems, but it does make a positive impact in helping you go in the right direction.
Here Are a Couple of Tips to Get You Started
First, ask yourself “Why do I want to start doing physical activities?” Then, you need to answer that question. Having a good reason behind your new goal will help you stay on track and keep you motivated.
Secondly, assess your current physical activity levels and add one or two goals at a time. Just like with any other kind of change, start slow. If you are not used to being active, jumping into it too quickly can cause injury and/or burnout.
Third, when you pick the activity you want to start, focus on the ones you may find some enjoyment in as this will help ensure long term success. For example, if you do not like lifting weights but like yoga, then focus on doing yoga. With this, also think outside the gym, like walking, hiking, running, team sports, gardening, biking, skating, dancing, and there are so much more.
Finally, find someone who will help keep you accountable, who will drag your butt off the couch when it is too hard for you to do it yourself. Someone who won’t take your excuses lightly, but knows when to let you rest and when to get on your case.
I know how hard it can be sometimes to get active, especially when you are dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, but trust me, it’s worth the effort. You are worth the effort! Don’t forget that!