Mental Health Awareness Week: The Importance of Exercise

With it being Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to focus this week’s blog on the positive impact that exercise can have on your mental wellbeing. It’s not necessarily just the act of working out that can benefit your mindset, but all the preparation of a routine can helps adjust your mentality.


Approaching a New Workout Routine


It can be difficult to find motivation if you’re feeling low, which is why setting goals and objectives can help to alter your mindset. Even if you just start with a simple goal, having something to work towards can provide you with the required boost to help find your motivation.


Recording weekly or monthly goals also allows you to track your progress, which can act as further motivation for you to keep on going with your workout plan. Journaling is often associated with being a beneficial technique for your mental health and writing down your progress can help to lay out how far you’ve come since you started your exercise routine.


Getting yourself in the zone before starting your workout is an important part of the entire process. Of course, whilst exercising, you’ll be burning through energy – so it’s important you energise your mind and body pre-workout. We’ve previously written about the perfect pre-workout snacks that can give you a vital boost of nutrients before you exercise, so having a few snacks alongside a cup of Amunra can make the ideal pre-workout meal. Coffee can be the ideal drink to have before working out, as the caffeine content helps provide you with an energy boost as well as allowing you to maintain better focus.  


The Benefits of Exercise


Exercise is renowned for benefitting you physically, however, it can also enhance mental wellbeing in a number of ways. Even light exercise such as a short walk can help to increase mental alertness and boost positivity. Exercising regularly can be even more beneficial for mental health and can help improve your mood, manage stress and sleep better.


Maintaining a Positive Mindset


Exercising causes the release of endorphins (also known as the ‘feel good’ chemical), which can instantly enhance your mood and give you more energy. People are often encouraged to continue exercising regularly after experiencing the release of endorphins, as it gives you such a good feeling. Exercise can also help with your self-esteem which is essential for a positive mindset. Seeing yourself make progress can be a big self-confidence boost, which can lead to you having more positivity in other aspects of your life.


Managing Stress


If you are stressed or suffering from feelings of anxiety, exercise can help you manage and maintain these feelings to regular levels. When we do physical exercise, our bodies release cortisol, a hormone that helps us manage stress.


Additionally, exercise gives your mind something to focus on, which can be a positive coping strategy if you are suffering from issues such as regular stress or anxiety. Having something productive to concentrate on whilst going through challenging periods can help keep you going.


Helps with Sleep


Of course, exercising typically tires you out as you are exerting more energy. This usually means you are more tired come the end of the day and are able to get to sleep more easily. Exercise is known to increase sleep quality for adults as it helps to reduce sleep onset, so you are less likely to spend excessive time laid in bed trying to get to sleep.


Sleep is absolutely vital to our wellbeing, so if this is something you struggle with, exercise can help to alleviate difficulties associated with falling asleep and also improve the quality of sleep you are getting. A good night’s sleep can put you in a better mood and allow you to feel more energised, focused and ready to take on the day ahead.


While it’s always important to look after your mental health, we wanted to pay special attention to the subject during Mental Health Awareness Week. Exercise can be an invaluable tool for you mentally, but it might not work for everybody. If you feel like you ever need help, reach out to friends, family and professionals. Always remember, you are not alone!


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