Exercising when you are highly motivated is easy (if only every day was like this).

It’s the days when we are tired, stressed, too busy or just cant be bothered that really challenge our decision to exercise. So next time you have one of these days (and we all get them) approach your workout from a different angle, with the aim of improving your mood and happiness. The research is clear, exercise and mood are strongly linked. Here are 5 ways exercise can improve your mental state:

1 – Exercise can boost your self-confidence
Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits. It can help you gain confidence.  Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.

2 – Exercise can help improve your sleep quality
Good quality sleep is the foundation to creating a healthy, well functioning body & mind. 

We all know too well, the feeling after a terrible nights sleep. Using caffeine and sugar to get you through the day. 

The plus side is that regular exercise can improve sleep quality.

A word of caution, research suggests that those who participate in high-intensity exercise, such as interval training, less than one hour before bedtime took longer to fall asleep and had poorer sleep quality.

3 – Exercise is strongly correlated to resilience
There is a strong body of evidence suggesting that as your exercise level increases, so does your resilience to stress. 

You can’t eliminate stress completely, in fact, stress can be a good thing in short, infrequent bouts. Chronic stress is what we need to be aware of, and is often the cause of many lifestyle diseases. 

Being able to cope with stress effectively is key to long term health. 

4 – Exercises releases endorphins
During and after exercises your body increases natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being.

5 – Exercise can improve your mental health
The mental health foundation report that there is approximately a 20% to 30% lower risk of depression and dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity

The key to all of this, is being consistent. Below we’ve made or recommendations for improving consistency:

  • Do an exercise/activity that you enjoy 
  • Make it social, exercise with a friend or partner
  • Choose an exercise or activity that is convenient both from a location and time perspective. 
  • Hire a personal trainer 😉
  • Join a small group training programme 😉

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