Yup, we’re a bit silly and slightly embarrassing (our kids may say a bit more than slightly) but we do what we gotta do to get a smile!
Evidence has suggested that exercise may be an often-neglected (yet extremely effective when used!) intervention in mental health care.
Aerobic exercises have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression, including:
Exercise also improves mental health by improving self-esteem and cognitive function!
These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thereby, on the physiological reactivity to stress.
The social interaction, self-efficacy and distraction that physical activity provides may also play a part in it’s positive effects on mental health.
Lifestyle changes that focus on the accumulation and increase of moderate-intensity activity throughout the day has proven likely to be the most appropriate for most patients struggling with mental health.
How are you feeling as we start the new year? If you are struggling with mental health concerns, consider slowly moving into an exercise routine that feels good. If you need additional help and accountability, always feel free to reach out!
6 WAYS TO STAY ACTIVE IN THE WINTER
In light of how important exercise is for mental health, AND the fact that people often find it harder to stick to a routine in the winter, we’ve come up with a quick list of ways you can banish the excuses and stay active this season!
1️⃣ Find a FUN Activity
As the seasons change, explore new outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing!
2️⃣ Dress for it
Layering provides the most effective way to stay warm and dry, plus you can remove the top layer if you get too hot. The layer closest to your skin should allow moisture to be wicked away (avoid cotton!) and the top layer should be both wind & water resistant.
3️⃣ Keep your clothes on!
It is tempting to rip off the extra layers once you get inside your toasty warm home, but we recommend you wait to give your body time to adjust. If you’re not wet, give it 10-15 minutes before removing layers. If you lose heat from your body too quickly, you may experience post-exercise hypothermia, which is a result of the body reducing its production of heat while also rapidly losing its heat stores.
4️⃣ Create a home gym
You can easily set up a great workout area in your living room or basement with just some basic, inexpensive equipment such as stretch bands and a stability ball!
5️⃣ Climb stairs
Either at home or in your workplace, spend as little as five minutes at a time climbing up and down the stairs for an efficient workout!
6️⃣ Try an app.
There are several fantastic free workout apps online that will guide you through simple at-home workouts that don’t require any equipment at all. We recommend FitOn, its free, & provides high-quality instructive videos tailored to your preferences. You set how long you want your workouts to be (even if its just 10 minutes) and they will recommend just what you need.
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