Get Grooving and Moving for a Healthier You!

Exercise-Together

There are many reasons why people do not enjoy working out, while others may find a reason not to exercise. Many people think that working out is only for overweight individuals. The truth is it imperative to be physically active for at least 20 minutes each day. But research by Mayo Clinic has proven that exercising is good for the body, mind and brain. As a child we moved our bodies while playing, running around the park and playing soccer with friends were par for the course of an active childhood. If as an adult the thought of breaking a sweat breaks your spirit, it might be time to think about fun ways you can get active just like a kid again. You will get most out of physical activities that you enjoy, and you’ll keep coming back for more.

Below is a list of activities that will get your heart pumping and add a bit of fun into your schedule at the same time.

  1. Dancing party, how long has it been since you danced to your favorite beats? Let loose, pump some beats and get dancing it will only take you about 2 to 3 songs and your heart will be racing.
  2. Play Frisbee, it’s a quick way to get moving with friends. Count how many times you can throw the Frisbee back and forth without dropping it, and make it more of a workout by asking them to make you run for it
  3. Build your own gym, if getting to a gym or paying for one is putting you off working out don’t worry, you can get the same benefits from a home workout by watching some YouTube videos from (Caroline Gavin and Healthy Fit with Ty) and many others.
  4. Enroll on a dancing class, you can do this with your friends to make if more fun, there are so many different styles of dancing that will raise your heart rate and challenge your coordination hence making you active.
  5. Hiking, getting out and about in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to stretch your legs and see some of the world’s amazing scenery. Need some inspiration on where to go? Follow @natalietewa and @luciamusau on Instagram for places you can visit.

The most common reason why people start and stop exercise are:

  • Perceived lack of time, step up a time to exercise.
  • Exercise-related injuries, including that of the knee and ankle, will not allow you to work out.
  • Exercise is not fun but would be because of starting with an intense workout that is too high for their fitness level.

People can overcome this barrier by not thinking of exercise as a planned activity and make it part of their day-to-day activities. You will be surprised at how much energy you use by the small movements you make in a day. Things you can do to help you meet your exercise needs;

  1. Avoid getting injured by starting at an appropriate exercise level (not too long or hard) and progress slowly.
  2. Fit exercise in whatever time you can. Eg, exercise during lunch time, prioritize walking or cycling and practice yoga at home 
  3. Schedule exercise time into your daily routine and keep to that schedule.
  4. Pick actives that you enjoy (like dancing, cycling, skating) and do those to stay more engaged and motivated.
  5. Include balance and stretching exercises to prevent falls and injuries.
  6. Take the stairs instead of the escalator.
  7. Do more house chores like scrubbing, mopping, and washing dishes to keep you active.
  8. Enough rest is crucial while working out helps the body relax and ease fatigue.
  9. Prepare in advance to exercise, put on your comfortable clothes, and have a filled water bottle ready before the day.
  10. Reward yourself, it’s important to give yourself immediate rewards when you successfully complete a workout or reach a new fitness goal. It can be something as simple as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.

No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with mental health problems, improve your energy and outlook, and get more out of life. Ways in which exercise improves mental health:

  • Exercise and depression, working out is a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Most importantly it promotes all kind of changes in the brain including new activity patterns that promote feeling of calm and wellbeing. It can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quite time to break out of the cycle of negative thought that feed depression.
  • Exercise and anxiety, working out is a natural anti-anxiety treatment. Try to notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground and focus on how your body feels as you exercise, you’ll not only improve your physical condition faster but you may also be able to interrupt the flow of constant worries running through your head.
  • Exercise and stress, ever notice how your body feels under stress? The worry and discomfort of all these physical symptoms can in turn lead to even more stress. Exercise can be an effective way to break this cycle. Physical activity helps to relax the muscle and relieve tension in the body. When the body feels better so too will your mind.
  • Exercise and PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), instead of allowing your mind to wander pay close attention to physical sensations in your joints and muscles, exercise that involve cross movement and that engage both arms and legs such as walking (especially in the sand), running, swimming or dancing are some of your best choices. Outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, mountain biking, rock climbing have also shown to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.

Exercise is a journey of a thousand miles that begins with a single step to see positive results.

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