- When you hear that word "exercise" do any of the following come to mind? 'I don't want to get sweaty', 'I was never good at sport at school', 'I would feel silly', 'I don't have anyone to do it with'. If they do don't let be put off!
- Keeping physically active can mean different things to different people. Whether it is running, cycling, swimming, walking, going to the gym, dancing, yoga, pilates or using the Xbox/Wii to perfect your dance moves; you will feel the emotional benefits. These include improved mood, reduced stress and anxiety, an improvement in symptoms of depression, a reduction in feelings of anger and therefore leaving us with an overall sense of wellbeing.
- The key is to find an activity that is fun and you can look forward to. If the activity involves an element of laughing, you will also be benefiting from laughter therapy which has been found to improve muscle tone, reduce wrinkles and improve mood.
- Regular physical activity can also help is to lose weight, tone our muscles and improve our body image. This in itself can bring about improved self esteem and confidence.
- Being involved in a club or class; whether it is a walking club, a gym related class or a yoga class, can help us to improve our social networks and therefore reduce isolation.
- Regular physical activity can also help to maintain a positive approach to life. It can help us to gain clarity on things that may be worrying us or causing us anxiety. It can also help build resilience which is the ability to bounce back after negative things happen in our lives.
- When we take part in physical activity, particularly if it is outside, it can help us to be more mindful about our surroundings. Being mindful means being more aware of what is around us and appreciating what we can see, hear or touch.