Mental Wellbeing is defined as "a positive, physical, social and mental state." One of the ways in which you can help either maintain or progress to this state is through exercise. It is recommended that the average adult should exercise between 75 - 150 minutes a week which includes any form of exercise that increases heart rate, makes you breathe faster and makes you feel warmer.
In todays post, I want to share with you the factors of mental wellbeing, the benefits of physical activity and how you can incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.
Factors of Mental Wellbeing:
- Sense of feeling good about ourselves and being able to function independently as well as in relationships
- The ability to deal with ups and downs in life
- Feeling connected to our community and surroundings
- Having control and freedom over our lives
- Having purpose and feeling valued
There are so many different ways in which you can improve your mental wellbeing. In this post, let's focus on the impact exercise has to our mental wellbeing. Let's start by looking at the benefits to exercise:
- Increases Self Esteem
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety
- Prevents the Development of Mental Health Problems
- Improves Quality of Life
So now you know the factors of mental wellbeing and the benefits that exercise has on improving our mental wellbeing, let's go into more detail on how you can incorporate exercise into your daily lifestyle with these 6 tips:
Set a Goal -
Whether it be to exercise for the average time recommended per week or whether you want to set your own goal like going for a daily walk for 30 minutes. Whatever goal you want to set yourself, make sure it is slightly challenging but achievable for your lifestyle. Having a goal will help motivate you, keep you accountable as well as offering a sense of achievement once completed.
Have a Why -
In my opinion, it is so important to have a reason why you are wanting to achieve what you have set yourself. By attaching an emotion to your why will enable you to motivate yourself and be more willing to exercise as you know it will make you feel good as well as work you towards your goal and why.
Support from Friends/Family -
By sharing your reason and goal with those dearest to you will allow them to offer support as well as keep you accountable. If you open up to those you trust and share why you are wanting to exercise, those that you have shared with will be able to encourage and support you to keep going.
Track Your Feelings -
It might be a good idea to write down how you feel before and after exercise so you can see the positive benefits it has to your mental wellbeing. It is important to write your feelings down so that your mind doesn't forget the positive benefits and so you can see your progress.
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait -
Good things take time to develop therefore allow yourself and the process some time so you can forever reap the benefits of physical exercise. Also, once you stop doing something, it isn't a habit anymore therefore trust the process and persevere as the outcome and your mental wellbeing afterwards will be so worth it!
Exercise Doesn't Have To Be Intense -
Most people think that exercise is high intensity, endurance activities, which is one side to exercise however there is also another side to exercise which still has the same benefits but is classed as low intensity. Below I have included some examples of both low and high intensity activities to give you some ideas when it comes to choosing which physical activity you want to give a go.
High Intensity - exercise that is purposeful such as jogging, cycling, strength training or structured / competitive activities such as tennis, squash or swimming
Low Intensity - exercise that is consumed in everyday life such as walking up the stairs, household chores etc or activities that are taken up for fun / enjoyment.
I really do hope that this blog post has helped you understand mental wellbeing in a little more detail and how exercise can help you in restoring / maintaining your mental wellbeing. Let me know in the comments what you do to help your mental wellbeing.
Some charities that can help if you want to reach out and talk to someone about your mental health. Remember, you're never alone.
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