As the new year approaches many are thinking about their health and fitness goals for 2018. Our guest blogger Deb Ruka who is a personal trainer in Lone Tree writes about the link between physical wellness and mental wellness. We hope this helps to kick off your new year in a holistically healthy way.
Exercise...everyone knows they should be doing it, but most people don’t realize just how beneficial it is. Here are just a few of the advantages to regular exercise: weight control, improved body image, reduced stress, and decreased risk of disease. These benefits are just tip of the iceberg. Hopefully this article will convince and motivate you to prioritize physical fitness.
Exercise is a great way to manage your weight. Think of calories as a savings account: you always want to have some in reserve. Calories in moderation are not a bad thing, just the opposite, calories are in essence heat energy, which means calories increase your energy levels. And burning calories will boost your metabolism, increasing your body's overall efficiency. Exercise and good nutrition are a great recipe for increased energy and weight control.
While weight loss is usually the prime motivator to get people started on a workout regime, don't underestimate the added benefit of improved body image that will result. This can be challenging and frustrating because it usually takes time to notice changes. You will probably notice physical changes, like your clothes fitting differently, before changes on the scale. Don’t be alarmed, this is a good thing because it means you are losing body fat and gaining muscle. Focus on exercising consistently and good nutrition, then the weight loss will come. With the confidence you'll feel from from your improved self-image, you'll notice that feeling will trickle into other aspects of your everyday life improving your mood and your overall mental health!
If that doesn’t inspire you how about the effect exercise has on your stress levels? Exercising prompts your body to excrete endorphins. In layman's terms, these are feel good hormones, so exercise results in the reduction of stress and mood improvements. Exercise: it's the most underutilized antidepressant!
Still not convinced to exercise? Does a decreased risk of disease peak your interest? Regular exercise can improve your cardiovascular health and lessen the possibility of type 2 Diabetes. It can also reduce your prospects of getting some cancers, strengthens your bones, and mitigates your chances of having osteoporosis. When you aren't worried about your physical health, you'll have more time to focus on your mental well-being.
Is it work? Of course, that’s why it’s called working out, but anything worth having is worth working for. Your physical health is directly correlated to your mental health; so go out there and do something, anything, to stay active! There are so many options out there: play a sport, hire a trainer, download workouts on line, go for a brisk walk, jog, bike, join a group fitness class, join a gym, buddy up with a friend, or rent free workout DVDs from a library. So who’s motivated?!