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Benefits of Looking After Our Physical Health for Good Mental Health

We all have physical health. We all have mental health. But do we have good physical and mental health?

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Keeping our physical health in check can go a long way to bettering our mental health.

Flip that around and poor physical health can increase the risk of developing mental illnesses and poor mental health can negatively impact on our physical health, leading to an increased risk of some conditions.

When we are struggling with poor mental health, our energy can feel low, and motivation depleted – but there is never a better time to try to get out of the house for a walk or work out at home.

When it comes to exercise for mental wellbeing the NHS suggests:

  • Any exercise is better than none. Even a brisk 10-minute walk can clear your mind.

  • If you have not exercised for a while, start gradually and aim to build up residence.

  • To stay healthy, adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

To put that into perspective, just under 22 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise is good for your body and is therefore great for your mental wellbeing.

Remember: the only bad exercise there is, is the one you didn’t do.

It’s easy for us to find reasons why we can’t, shouldn’t, or won’t exercise. We’ve all been in that mindset where the weather, energy levels, a busy diary, or finances can stop us. It’s always easier not to exercise. However, we don’t need an expensive gym, costly equipment, or even to leave the house to look after ourselves.

We have items all around us we can use that can lower the barrier to entry when it comes to exercise, and you don’t have to spend any money to feel great in both body and mind.

Simple ways to work out cheaply and efficiently:

  • Go for a walk – even if it’s just around the block. You can increase the distance each time.

  • Do some low-level floor exercises at home – push ups, sit ups or even walking on the spot!

  • Try a free online YouTube exercise session if up for the challenge – all levels are available.

  • If you aren’t completely mobile, there are exercises online you can do in a chair.

  • Who needs weights when you have cans, bottles and packets with weights marked on them?

  • Use your own body weight for resistance exercises. You can search for safe exercises online.

  • Yoga and Pilates are great for the mind, body and soul with online videos aplenty!

If you keep to the right level and build your strength and stamina, you are almost guaranteed to feel a positive impact on your mental health

Immediately after exercise and if you maintain a regular routine. Like any good habit, it takes some work; but the wellbeing benefits are amazing.

You can even make it easier for yourself by:

  • Printing out or writing out workouts you’ve researched that work best for you.

  • Putting together a playlist of the music that motivates you to work out.

  • Finding someone to exercise with. Being accountable to someone can really help motivate you.

  • Browse YouTube trainers to try out and put together a watch list to access easily.

Above all, remember that this is to help you with your wellbeing. Be kind to yourself. Start slowly and build up. If you push yourself too hard too soon, you might find you lose motivation which may in turn impact negatively on your mental health. Slow and steady wins the race.

And finally…

PoetsIN have a range of resources available for free. They’re easy to download and will help with all things mental wellbeing. It is as important to invest time in our mental health as well as our physical health. Visit: poetsin.com/resources to get your copies.

Author: Paul Chambers, PoetsIN

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