How & Why to Make Exercise a Habit
Your mind and body are intertwined and working together in very complex ways. It is critical to take care of both in order to optimize your schooling, work, and relationships. Stress, anxiety, and depression all have negative physical repercussions, just as poor physical health is detrimental to your mental state. This balancing act is achieved through multiple various means, such as lifestyle and therapy. One powerful energy and mood booster that you can start incorporating into your life immediately is exercise.
Stress and poor mental health results in high levels of hormones within your body. This can result in high blood pressure, physical pains, and emotional lows. Depression and stress increase your likelihood of engaging in unhealthy habits. Exercise, whether aerobics or weights, helps you fight back against these issues. By engaging in activities such as swimming, running, or lifting weights, you are releasing endorphins into your body. This hormone has an extremely positive effect that both improves your mood and reduces body pain.
All it takes is half an hour of physical activity to see a change in your mood and energy level. You will not only feel a sense of accomplishment afterwards, but also relaxation both mentally and in your muscles. This calmness puts you in a better state to make more positive decisions and improve the overall quality of your life. That half hour can take place all at once or broken up throughout the day. It can be intense cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate, as well as stretching or yoga that helps release negative emotions. It is important to listen to your body and know your limits, but to also push your body when you feel depression or low energy holding you back from such much-needed physical activity.
Making exercise a habit is a major roadblock for many people. Start by scheduling exercise into your calendar weekly, just like you would put in appointments, classes, and other reminders. Set specific days and times when you know you will be free. Try a variety of exercises, such as riding a bike, swimming, or weights, and gauge how your body responds. If you are finding it difficult on your own, try exercising with a friend or group. You can help encourage one another and make the workout more enjoyable. Try playing sports or joining fitness classes. If you are exercising solo, try doing so while listening to music or watching an episode of your favourite show. Use a fitness tracker or an app to keep track of how often and how long you exercise. Use those growing statistics as encouragement to push yourself to keep going.
Starting the habit of exercise is an uphill battle, but it is immensely rewarding once you find yourself working out on a regular basis. You will see and feel the difference in your mood, energy, and overall quality of life. It will become easier to engage in physical activities on a regular basis. You will feel greater relaxation and a better mood. Your mind will be sharper and more prepared for school, work, and more. Exercise is a habit that can have a tremendous impact on your life, and it is one that you can start building right this very minute.
Bupa. “Exercise to Reduce Stress and Improve Mood.” https://www.bupa.com.au/health-and-wellness/health-information/healthy-living/exercise/reducing-stress/reduce-stress-and-improve-mood
Helpguide.org. “The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise.” https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm
Stibich, Mark. “Exercise and Improving Your Mood.” Verywell. https://www.verywellmind.com/exercise-and-improving-your-mood-2223781