I know you don’t want to right now, I used to find it so hard to motivate myself to workout too. In fact, I didn’t want to run an hour ago, it’s raining and cold and I have so much to do today – including inspiring you to improve your overall wellbeing – but I did, and I’ve just got back, sat down at my computer and have all the energy and motivation I need to get shit done!
That is actually #1. When you feel lethargic and need a pick-me-up, exercise is a fantastic way to give both your mind an body a boost. I often used to think, “I’m so tired; I don’t have the energy to work out”. My mind would feel sluggish and I would find motivating myself to do anything really hard. The thing is I only needed to motivate myself to do one thing – Run.
Rather than what you would expect, exercise doesn’t deplete our energy levels but actually recharges them more than having a nap would. Exercise increases our endorphins, leading to more energy, improved mood and motivation, making everything else that comes after that much easier.
As well as the instant “endorphin high” energy boost you have from a workout, in a study published by the Psychological Bulletin shows that regular exercise gives you more energy in general.
“More than 90% of the studies showed the same thing: Sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise,” according to researcher Patrick O’Connor, PhD. “It’s a very consistent effect.”Exercise Fights Fatigue, Boosts Energy (webmd.com)
The second reason you should put your phone or tablet down and get active (when you have finished reading this article) is to support your brain function. Before I took this time for myself I was literally staring at a blank screen. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say, just my mind was sluggish and I couldn’t find it.
Just like any other muscle and organ in the body, the mind’s performance is improved with the increase in oxygenated blood flowing to it. The mind is sharper, cognitive function is improved by exercise. Just like with our energy, our brain also becomes healthier and works more efficiently with regular exercise.
Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School talks in this article about the benefits increased exercise have on reducing inflammation in the brain and encouraging new cell growth.
“Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,”Dr. McGinnis.
My 3rd reason for getting off the sofa and into some Lycra is my emotional wellbeing. When I run, when I’m on my yoga mat ( and starting this week I can add a pole to that list) I am taking time for myself when no one is needing a snack, the potty, just me. I am free in that time, there is nothing else to do and a sense of acheivement and accomplishment for just showing up. In it’s own way it is a form of meditation that keeps me in a healthy state of mind.
Physiologically as well exercise is proven to boost your mental health and wellbeing.
I mentioned that along with the energy you get from the endorphins released during exercise, you actually get a buzz from it. Multiple studies have also shown that exercise has a positive effect on mental health, both indirectly through the improved sleep and physical symptoms that affect our mood, and directly by giving us a sense of accomplishment, community, pride and admiration for ourselves.
If that’s still isn’t enough to get your running shoes on and you need some extra help finding the motivation to get out the door, book FREE a call with me and we can talk about ways to find your get-up-and-go.