We all know how beneficial exercise is for us. We’re surrounded by the results of a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis, notably though mainstream media. Whether you read about it online, watch fitness-dedicated TV programmes or even newspapers/magazines, its all around us. The reality on the other hand is much different than what we see, as finding the free time outside of work and home life can be extremely difficult.
The idea is to find what works best for you and the amount of free time you have to work with, whether that’s a short 5-minute workout in the morning or something a bit longer if time affords it.
Exercise is important for your body and mind, so anything is better than nothing. Here’s a few things to remember:
- Exercise doesn’t have to be in the gym, nor does it have to be a painful, gruelling process! Commitment and perseverance are key, and all it takes is performing any kind of movement that makes your muscles work whilst burning calories.
- There are so many kinds of exercise that you aren’t limited to just one. Swimming, running, jogging, and even walking are all just as good. If you’re doing something that gets you in a sweat, then you’re on the right track.
- There are many health benefits to staying active, not only will it make you feel good now but it may even help you live longer.
- One of the many improvements exercise can make is that it can decrease all the negative feelings you may have, such as depression and stress. Just like a good nights sleep, exercise helps your brain to regulate stress and anxiety much better through secretion of the hormone serotonin. That’s why, after a run or any other form of exercise, you tend to feel much better than before. The intensity of the workout doesn’t matter, just so long as you’re doing something that activates your muscles. Knowing that exercise is also a great benefit to your mood, it makes that extra-long dog walk or bike ride much more worth it. Especially after a demanding day at school, it will help take your mind off work and give it that much needed rest.
- Exercise is an important way burning calories through increasing your metabolic rate. You are spending energy all the time, even by maintaining bodily functions like your heart beating and breathing. Your body is like a furnace, and the coal is your food intake. Its been shown that exercising at regular intervals increases your metabolic rate, in-turn burning more calories and helping you lose weight if it’s your goal to do so.
- School jobs are mentally demanding and requires you to be at your cognitive peak for you to carry out your job effectively. Exercise not only increases the amount of energy you have, but also strengthens your memory and strengthens your cognitive ability. As school jobs demand a lot from you mentally, it’s important to stay on top of your mental health to achieve a happy work/life balance. Exercise helps achieve this by making you feel more awake and alert by increasing blood flow and oxygen to your brain.
- Alongside all the physical and mental benefits exercise has, it also helps improve your quality of sleep and overall relaxation. This is caused by the depletion of energy through exercise, and the positive effect it has on your ability to rebuild and recover whilst asleep. It also helps improve sleep quality by increasing your temperature, consequently helping your body regulate its temperature during sleep.
Exercise offers us countless benefits, it’s just a case of sometimes remembering this and being disciplined enough to incorporate all these tips into our daily lives. Regular physical activity not only makes us feel happier but helps us sleep better also. It’s a constant cycle, as a better quality of sleep helps our brain to organise and regulate our emotions much better.
Small but often is a good way of approaching exercise if you don’t have the time, as even a short walk can have surprisingly positive effects on your general health. The same applies to what you eat and drink, moderation is key and if you eat lighter during the week, you can eat more unhealthier food on the weekend.
Finding the right work/life balance can be challenging but by being disciplined and actively trying to change your lifestyle, even by small amount, you will see results and your overall well-being will improve as a result.
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