Chase away those winter blues… literally
It may be cold, dark and uninviting outside, but hibernating in front of Netflix all winter probably isn’t the best idea.
One of the ways to keep feeling great as the seasons change is to keep up a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Exercising regularly and eating healthily can help keep your energy and confidence levels high.
Physical Health Benefits
Having a healthy body can help you feel stronger, more energetic, and increase your self-esteem.
Exercising can reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease (by 10%) and type 2 diabetes (by 30-40%). And because exercise makes your heart stronger, you’ll also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Your body will thank you as you get older!
Some of the most surprising physical benefits are stress reduction and improved sleep. When you exercise more, your body learns to regulate its cortisol levels better. Cortisol is a ‘stress hormone’ that our bodies release. When your body regulates its release better, it reduces the risk of anxiety and depression.
Mental Health Benefits
Exercising can make you feel great in other ways too. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins – the hormones that make you feel good and happy. Exercise can even reduce the risk of depression. Studies have found that by increasing your activity levels from doing nothing to exercising at least three times a week, you can reduce your risk of depression by almost 20%.
Sometimes exercising can be a great way to clear your head too. Instead of focusing on the million things you have to do, you can just focus on being in the moment. Concentrating on exercise can make your mind stop focusing on the things that are stressing you out. This can help you see things in a new way, or just feel calmer overall.
Fun Exercises and Training
There are plenty of ways to start exercising and training. Lots of people find that running or weight-lifting are good ways to get started because they are exercises you can do individually and at your own pace. That doesn’t mean that these exercises are for everyone, though. Part of starting to live healthily means choosing the activity that is right for you. Other popular individual exercises include:
- Rock climbing
- Aerial acrobatics
Joining a team can be another great way to get exercise integrated into your routine. Not only do you get the chance to be active, but going to practice and competing in a match is a fun way to socialise. There are loads of interesting new team sports to check out, such as:
- Ultimate frisbee
- Kayak polo
- Quidditch (yes, seriously!!)
Exercise and Balance
Exercising can make you feel great, give you more confidence, and introduce you to some new friends. It’s important to make sure that while you’re starting out, you keep a good balance in your life. Eating healthy while exercising can make you feel great, so make sure you’re getting enough healthy food for your new level of activity. Snacking on plenty of fruits, vegetables, and proteins like nuts and legumes throughout the day will keep you feeling energetic and healthy!