When I first started exercising, I had no idea how much it would change my life. I believed it to be something laborious and unenjoyable, so I put it off. Little did I know, exercise could bring immense physical and mental wellbeing, improved sleep and even increased energy levels. After so many years of resisting incorporating it into my life, I’m so glad I finally did.
To define it, exercise, also known as physical activity, is any activity you do that uses your muscles and requires energy. It can include anything from walking, running and weight training to swimming, yoga and dancing.
Exercising, unsurprisingly, offers numerous physical health benefits such as healthy weight management, improved heart health, stronger bones and improved balance. What is more surprising is the mental health benefits. Exercise increases happiness, reduces stress, boosts clarity, and sharpens focus. Additionally, exercises can improve the quality of your sleep and can be an effective energy booster after a long, tiring day.
To get started, it is important to choose an activity you enjoy. That can mean anything from running to HIIT to dance classes, swimming or even just a 30-minute walk twice a week.
Once you’ve chosen, it’s important to set realistic goals that challenge yet also don’t overwhelm. This way, you’ll be motivated to reach them. Starting slowly is beneficial; if you go too hard too quickly, you might be discouraged.
Joining a group or finding a partner might help ease the pressure of alone-time while exercising. Having someone to connect with before, during and even after a workout can be very rewarding.
Lastly, tracking progress is essential not just for monitoring your progress, but also for staying motivated. You can also track fitness levels, reps, and technique to keep moving forward.
In summary, exercise can bring about so many physical and mental health benefits. Starting off slowly by setting realistic goals and monitoring progress will help you get there. Consider finding a partner or group exercise, as this could help make it more enjoyable. I’m so thankful I eventually chose to start exercising, it has truly changed my life.