Using Exercise To Improve Wellbeing
When we think of exercise, we tend to focus on the physical benefits. But using exercise to improve wellbeing is remarkably effective.
There have been many studies linking the positive effects of exercise on mental health disorders. 15-30 minutes of aerobic activities three times a week, such as jogging, walking, cycling, or swimming, have proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Why Does Exercise Improve Wellbeing?
When we exercise, two things happen.
- We get a release of endorphins, a chemical in the body linked to happiness and feeling good.
- Exercise improves blood circulation, thus increases energy, improves sleep, and a sharper memory.
The combination of these two positive forces in the body improves overall mood and wellbeing.
Health Benefits of Regular Exercise
According to the study Exercise for Mental Health published in the United States Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, health benefits from regular exercise include:
- Improved sleep
- Increased interest in sex
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improvement in mood
- Increased energy and stamina
- Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
- Weight reduction
- Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness
Notice that many of these benefits relate to an improvement in mental health.
With many people stuck at home during COVID restrictions, we need to embrace exercise as a natural remedy to improve wellbeing in 2021.
10 Exercises to Improve Wellbeing in 2021
People often get overwhelmed when thinking about exercise because they “don’t know how”.
To make things easier, think of the exercise you need in terms of continuous movement.
For your exercise to be effective, you must complete 15-30 minutes three times a week. Even those of us with the busiest of schedules should be able to find 1 hour 30 minutes a week to get the body moving.
Here are 10 exercises you can do in 2021 to improve your wellbeing:
- Walking – the most accessible way for anyone to start exercising.
- Moderate jogging – once you have gotten used to walking, try a light jog.
- Cycling or exercise bike – if you can afford an exercise bike, this is an excellent way to stay in shape. You can even watch TV while you exercise!
- Dancing – you’re at home where no one can see your awkward moves. Go for it.
- Gardening & DIY projects – exercising while improving your living space is so good for the soul!
- Housework (sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming) – now you’ll be double motivated to clean your home three times a week.
- Jump rope – jump rope is surprisingly intense. There’s a reason why fighters use a jump rope as part of their cardio training.
- Yoga – yoga is another accessible activity and has so many health benefits. There are so many free YouTube classes, including the ever-popular Yoga With Adriene.
- Low-impact aerobics – these are easy fluid movements most can do. The great thing about low-impact aerobics is you get a full-body workout.
- CrossFit – if you’re looking for a more intense workout, CrossFit is great. There are loads of free YouTube videos, or you could sign up for an online class.
Do you think you could manage one of these exercises three times a week? Of course, you can.
If you’re confined to your home, think about joining one of many online courses for yoga, dancing, low-impact aerobics, or CrossFit.
These classes allow you to exercise while meeting new people. Social interaction is also fantastic for your wellbeing ;).
As you can see, exercise doesn’t require a gym membership or a personal trainer.
You can start exercising just by walking or doing regular housework. Commit to the full 30 minutes, three times a week. If you feel you can do more, go for it!
Whatever you choose to do, be mindful of your intention. You want to exercise to improve your wellbeing.