Why Exercise Is SO Important during this difficult time
Firstly and obviously, Exercise has significant health benefits, like reducing the risk of heart disease, strengthening your bones and muscles and relieving stress. During this pandemic, physical health has become paramount to many, and so exercise should be viewed as a medicine that will aid your physical health.
Regular physical activity is known to improve sleep and help combat depression, which are two of the main health issues that people fear the lockdown may have. Health consultant, Dr Nick Cavill said: “If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.”
The effect of being quarantined for an unknown amount of time is likely to have more of an effect on our mental health. Many of us will be struggling with not knowing when the next time we’ll get to see our friends or families, whilst also being constantly surrounded by bleak and sombre headlines. It is our mental health which suffers as a consequence.
BUT, this is where exercise comes in. Doing some form of structured physical activity each day will help during this period simply because it is a distraction.
Exercising isn’t just for the physical benefits and perceived appearance, but more importantly for how we feel mentally.
Running, hiking, cycling, etc. all allow you to take your mind elsewhere and completely focus on something else. This escape is crucial during a time like this where it feels like you cannot get away from the negative press.
The positive effect of physical activity on your general wellbeing is something that has already been proven. Research has shown that regular exercise can positively impact serotonin levels in your brain. Raising your levels of serotonin boosts your mood and overall sense of well-being.
Out of the many things that I’m sure we’ll take away from this difficult period, the importance of exercise should be one of them.
Exercise is one of the few things that people of all ages can strive to do, and therefore its importance during this period cannot be stressed enough.
Goals and Targets
Whilst being stuck indoors, or without gyms it can be easy to slip into lazy habits and become more inactive, this is why setting goals and targets for this period is crucial.
Whether it’s aiming for 10,000 steps a day or running 5km, giving yourself targets for your physical activity is vital.
The reason for this is that by setting a goal it gives you something to accomplish each day. This is so important at a time like now, where every day may begin to feel the same, but doing a variety of different exercises with different aims and goals will help change this. Create competition with yourself and with others, this will also help with motivation through a difficult period.
The best way to achieve your goals for each day is to come up with a routine that keeps you on target and allows you to measure your success.
This may mean reserving a designated time each day for you and exercise or perhaps for you personally it helps to have different times each day to keep things interesting. Either way plan ahead where possible and know when you are going to be moving each day.
Routines enable productivity, and by using exercise as the template, we provide our days with some structure during these unstructured times..