Healthy Mind and Exercise: Getting started

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Having a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. It is well documented that physical activity is good for your mental health and wellbeing. I believe we need to change how we see physical exercise: it should not something we feel we “have to do” or “ought to do” or “have been told to do”, but rather something we value because we enjoy the benefits for our wellbeing, both physical and emotion.

I want to reduce my stress and rest my mind. I know its worth exercising for that alone.

There are many ways to be active: it doesn’t mean you have to go to a gym or join a team sport. Walking, using the stairs or gardening might get your heart pumping. Choosing an activity you will want to do regularly and motivating yourself to fit it in to your day are key decisions. The two biggest inner barriers are simple: a lack of motivation and a lack of discipline. Many people find they undertake regular activity if it is part of their routine, or they are accountable to a friend who they check in with regularly. If you are also working out to improve your anxiety or lift your depression, having an exercise routine works: its more likely to happen and the positive feedback loop of “I did it again” will be a huge boost.

This boost is triggered by dopamine, which is usually released when you undertake active exercise. Dopamine is the feel good chemical designed to motivate you to be more productive.

So how do I make this feel good feeling a regular part of my week? Find out healthy ways to feed your dopamine and what causes temptation that means you will miss out. Be aware of your vices and you will be more likely to accomplish your goals. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, the lack of willpower is the number-one obstacle people face in achieving their goals.

You are in control, it’s your choice, you are the authority: what do you want to change?

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