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Despite lockdown restrictions somewhat easing, the on-again-off-again nature of governmental guidance makes it very difficult to see beyond the next few months. With summer well and truly upon us, even the thought of an overseas vacation to sunnier climes may feel impossible, or at least not guaranteed..... Any wonder some of us are still feeling a little anxious.

Our normal routine has gone out the window, we're reduced to spending a lot of time stuck at home, the fridge is RIGHT THERE so temptation is never far and you're potentially having to now deal with hyperactive 5-13 year olds that are normally giving their teachers grief... it can be all a bit overwhelming!!!

Well, like it or not, the solution is simple - the opportunity to de-stress with exercise is STILL your best option when it comes to dealing with all this uncertainty....

There are a lot of benefits exercise can bring to our body and our health.

We all know that exercise is beneficial to our physical health. Apparently, our mental health also gains plenty of benefits from physical exercise as well. Some of us may have already heard this claim, but do we really know how it benefits us mentally? Awareness is the key to motivating ourselves to keep exercising so we can have a fit body and a sound mind.

Here are 5 things to consider before abandoning the trainers or home gym....

It improves your mood

Generally, being physical and doing exercise can improve one’s mood for a number of reasons. Many people choose to do exercise when they wake up in the morning and before they start their day because sweating out and stretching the muscles can be a great wake up call for the mind and body. This results in an overall light and upbeat physical feeling which would then resonate to a good mood. Individuals who start the day with some cardio and exercise are known to have more energy to last throughout the day, as compared to those who do not do exercise in the morning.

Top tip - get out of the house for an hour before everyone else wakes up....

Increases endorphins

Studies have confirmed that being physical, sweating out and working out increases the endorphin production in your body. Endorphins are feel-good hormones and also act as the natural pain reliever. Even if the muscles feel sore after an intense workout, you will notice a satisfied physical feeling that basically improves your overall outlook. After a light workout and exercise, if you feel upbeat and energized, this is the mass production of endorphins at work. Even as simple as walking or jogging can bring great improvement to one’s mood.

Top tip - feeling a bit 'meh'..? Get the endorphins flowing with a mini-circuit of 20 x bodyweight squats, followed by 20 (or as many as possible) press ups for 3 rounds with 30 sec rest between each set.... Do that before your next Zoom call to be more upbeat than your colleagues!

Calms the mind and fights depression

Doing exercise and sets are generally repetitive and in a routine. That being said, repetitive actions such as the different routines for exercise allow the mind to stay focused and become calm.

Exercise is also said to encourage muscle meditation when the muscles are focused on a specific action. This will resonate throughout the whole body and increase the production of endorphins. With regular exercise, it can help fight depression. Another way that exercise helps calm the mind is that being physically active and focusing on your body can help you tone out other thoughts. For a few minutes or hours every day, you can zone out and just focus on your body.

Top tip - grab 10 minutes of stretching accompanied by mindful breathing before your completing the next big scary task on your to-do list... it will help calm the nerves and allows you to focus.... then go smash that report!

Increases social interaction

As the body increases in feel-good hormones, this will also increase your motivation to spend time with family and friends more. You get more energy to spend time with your family after work or at the weekend. This increases your social health too. Also, when you regularly exercise, whether you walk or run on a regular route, you may get to meet and befriend new people along the way which will grow your social circle.

Top tip - don't like exercising alone and still worried about heading back to the gym? Make it a family affair, or jump on to one of hundreds on-line group workouts being streamed....even as we speak! Go sign up for one now...!!

Improves self-confidence

Exercise improves one’s self-confidence overall. When you exercise regularly, you become more aware of your physical health and mental health. Regular exercise will maintain your body and keep you fit and healthy. This can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. Plus, regular exercise can help you get the body you always wanted which is all good for your confidence.

Top tip - it only takes 30-45 mins of vigorous exercise a day (along with a nutritionally balanced meal plan) to get significant results - whether your goal is weight loss, or muscle gain. Imagine going back to the office after lockdown being in better shape then when this all started...??? It can be done!

If your exercise routine has stalled, your diet has gone out the window and you're too stressed to think about starting a new's time to reach out for help.

Send me a direct message if you need a kick start to get back into or to start a fresh routine - it will not only help reduce stress and anxiety, but will give you a positive action with significant benefits that will help you emerge from lockdown a lot better than when we went in.

I'm here to help.....

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