You don’t need to be a doctor to know that exercise comes with benefits. From extending our lifespans to decreasing our waistlines, working out offers a myriad of perks. But these are certainly not limited to the physical.
From a mental health perspective, exercise can boost the brain and stop the stress. Getting your heart pumping helps the endorphins flow, feelgood chemicals that make us happy and calm. So, what types of exercise work best in this regard? They include:
Yoga: Yoga is a go-to stress reliever for many people: if you’re not down with downward dog, you should be! With a focus on breathing, it centres and regulates the body. It’s not all in the head, either: scientific studies back this up. So does the fact that yoga has been around forever.
Running: Running is a type of exercise not everyone loves to do – some may only run if they’re being chased. Still, it does your body and your brain good. If you’re not thrilled with the idea, consider interval training – walk for five minutes and run for two.
Dancing: Many of us don’t love the idea of dancing when sober– it makes us feel so awkward that we revert back to our spotty teenage selves at the school disco. Yet dancing is great exercise. From swing to salsa to Zumba, it gets the blood flowing. Taking a dance class with friends is doubly beneficial: socialising helps anxiety too.
Weightlifting: While it may be easy to equate weightlifting with muscle-bound meatheads, strength training is essential at any age. And, no, you don’t need to be so overly dedicated that your shirt rips when you flex. Strength training, especially as we grow old, helps prevent muscle loss, which not only keeps our metabolism chugging along but it offers us more resistance to depression.
Walking: Some people give the side-eye to walkers, believing they’re not truly exercising. But any exercise is always better than none. To up the perks, walk in nature – a hike into the mountains or down at the beach can do wonders for your serenity. Walking somewhere peaceful will benefit you more than walking through traffic.
No matter where you work out – your home, your office, outdoors, or the local gym – make time for it each day. Your brain will thank you.
Hiya, I’m Karen, energy therapist and mind body expert for dynamic and ambitious women who are struggling with anxiety. I help them to get to the root cause of their anxiety so they can take back control other thoughts and be the calm and confident woman they want to be.
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