In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, we look at the ways working out can lead to a healthier mind
We all know that keeping fit is great for our bodies, but there are also many ways in which it’s beneficial for our mental wellbeing.
Squeezing in just a few sessions of moderate exercise a week can relieve stress, enhance memory, improve sleep quality and boost our general mood. As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Gympass has compiled a list of top tips for adding exercise into our daily routines, to achieve both a healthy body and mind…
1) Get up early
How many times have you said to yourself: ‘Tomorrow is the day for an early morning workout’? But when that alarm goes off at 6am, it’s all too easy to hit the snooze button and throw the duvet over your head.
An early morning workout is actually the perfect way to get you energised and put you in a great frame of mind for the day ahead.
2) Keep it short and sweet
Sometimes our schedules will only allow for the shortest of workouts, but if we can fit them in every day they prove just as effective as spending hours in the gym.
Snappy workouts such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are proven to give a boost of energy and mood – and you can easily do them at home.
3) Go to a class
Booking onto a class can be a commitment, but sometimes they’re more beneficial than an average gym session.
Not only are you spurred on by everyone else, an instructor is taking you through each step, maximising your workout and letting you focus on sweating away stress.
4) Keep it social
After a long day, sometimes all you want is to catch up with your friends and vent. So why not turn these meet-ups into something more productive?
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Boot camps are a great way to build your motivation and release pent-up anxiety. Make a friend, family member or colleague your new workout buddy – it’ll make the new experience easier to handle and push you to do your best. As they say, a little competition never hurt anyone.
5) Try a flexi-membership at the gym
While it’s great to keep a consistent exercise routine, sometimes our schedules just won’t allow for it. But a little exercise is better than none, and even sporadic sessions can contribute to staying mentally and physically healthy.
Flexi-memberships are ideal for those with unpredictable daily lives. Not only can you work out wherever you are, but you can also avoid peak times and those awful machine queues.
6) Get outside
Outdoor exercise works wonders for your mental health. The natural light floods your body with vitamin D, which immediately improves your mood.
Simply pop on your trainers and go for a run.
7) Switch up your exercise routine
This is a great way to keep your mind active by learning new things and not getting stuck in a workout ‘rut’. Whether it be classes or a typical gym workout, keeping a steady mix of different activities is a surefire way to boost your mood and ensure you don’t get bored of exercise.
8) Exercise your mind
Mental health is just as important as physical health, so put your mental wellbeing first by starting the day with meditation. This will help clear your mind and relax your thoughts.
A yoga class can also reduce stress, as well as increase happiness.