10 good reasons why exercising can support your health during this difficult time
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
Hello! Quite a lot has happened since I last blogged here. The world around us has changed so dramatically, and with it the way we live our lives. Over the coming weeks and months, I want to share tips and ideas to help you navigate this new normal. Whilst staying at home is paramount, we still need to look after our bodies and minds. Putting our health and wellbeing first has never been so important to help us endure this difficult time.
First up, I'm looking at exercise....
Embracing exercise whilst at home and making it a part of our daily/weekly routine, can really support us during the weeks of lockdown ahead.
Here’s 10 reasons why:
👣Exercise elevates the mood: There’s a lot of research that backs up how exercise raises our mood and can support our mental health. I believe it can be a useful tool to support and even comfort us during this time of such uncertainty and worry.
🏃 Exercise is something we can control: Given the current state of events and how our lives have changed so dramatically, this is one thing we CAN do for ourselves to support our wellbeing.
👊 Supporting our physical health: Exercise supports many different systems from your cardiovascular system (heart, blood pressure), musculoskeletal system (muscle, joints) through to your immune system and digestive system. It really can work wonders for our bodies.
🙏 Managing stress: Exercise can be a great stress-buster helping to reduce levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Try calming exercises such as yoga and pilates and walking to help you relax.
💪 Building muscle: A home workout can be great for building strength and supporting muscles. We all steadily lose muscle after age 30, so including some weights or strength training can be really beneficial. If you don't have weights at home, you could use tin cans or a plastic bottle filled with water. There are lots of videos on You Tube that just focus on using body weight too.
🙏 Keeping busy & taking your mind off things: I find channeling my effort into exercise really takes my mind off other things. A meditative effect if you like. This could be a welcome asset during these worrying times.
🏅Building a new routine: I’m sure many of us are finding that we now have to build a new routine. Many of us will be moving a lot less whilst we stay at home, particularly if you are used to regularly visiting the gym or leisure centre. Exercise is a really positive activity to weave into that new daily routine. It may actually be something you weren't able to do before, so this could open up a new opportunity to move more!
🌈 Dealing with change: When so much of our lives have changed, exercise can help boost our self-esteem and morale. Helping to lift our spirits.
🚴 Getting fresh air: If you have a garden or a place to exercise, whilst self-distancing, then exercising outdoors is a great way to get fresh air and sunshine. We all need a bit of daily sunshine to boost our vitamin D levels. Kids that are used to being at school will definitely benefit from time outdoors.
🌳 Weight loss/maintenance: Exercise helps with weight loss. If you are wanting to lose or even maintain weight, then exercise can support this goal. Not something that I feel we should worry about just now though (in my humble opinion). However, I know it is top of mind for many people.
Home workout ideas
I have been doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) with Joe Wicks (@thebodycoach) for 4 years now. I'm a huge fan of his videos, which are simple, accessible and cater to a range of people and fitness levels. There are low impact and high impact videos on there, so don't be put off by the HIIT term. All his videos are free to use on his You Tube Channel
I also really like Yoga with Adrienne.