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Movement to Improve Your Health

Movement to improve your health – Incorporating movement into our daily lives is fundamental to good health and mental wellbeing. Exercise and moving our bodies has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress and boost self-esteem.

  • Exercise is scientifically proven to improve your mood by promoting neural growth and releasing endorphins. These endorphins act in your brain to make you feel good.
  • Exercise can help reduce stress by decreasing levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
  • Exercise improves self-esteem by giving us a sense of accomplishment when we have completed an activity and can also improve concentration and alertness.

When we talk about exercise and including more of it in our lives it is easy to jump to thoughts of joining the gym or going to an exercise class, which could feel daunting. If these ideas seem too much it might be an idea to think of just incorporating more movement into your day through your daily activities and increase in your natural movement.

In the past we didn’t have the mod cons we have today, we did everything by hand, washing our clothes, kneading bread, cooking, cleaning our house, and we didn’t have cars. If going to the gym is intimidating think about how you can increase natural movement every day. Ideas could include:

  • Walk as much as you can, to the shops, the train station to visit friends. Carry your shopping home. Don’t take the car if you can walk.
  • When cooking try to use less equipment, chop, kneed and stir by hand. Wash up by hand instead of using the dish washer.
  • Increase how often you clean or when you do clean be more conscious of how you move and stretch.
  • Do your ironing, think about how when you iron your clothes, you are moving your arms and shoulders.
  • Garden on a regular basis. The bending, stretching and movement involved in gardening can improve our fitness, balance and wellbeing.
  • Squat more – if you need to pick something up off the ground squat to do it.
  • Stretch more – think about how often in a day you put your hands above your head, its probably not that many. Maybe stretch every time you get up.
  • Sit on the floor more – the more we sit on the floor the more often we have to get up from the floor, making us practice our balance, and strength.
  • Practice balancing on one foot – hold onto a chair or wall if you need to, but the more we are able to keep our balance the less likely we are to trip or fall , or lose balance.
  • Play catch – keep your hand eye coordination sharp and increase your cardio.
  • Stand at your desk – standing rather than sitting will increase your strength.
  • Crawl – not for everybody, but this is a free activity that you can do at home that will increase your strength, engage a number of muscles and increase your cardio.

Practicing all of the above activities could increase your fitness and your health and general activity, without even trying. This could be the perfect place to start increasing your daily movement and exercise, you may find that in fact your don’t need to go to a gym.

In our modern lives we have so many things to make our lives easier and whilst I wouldn’t take any of them away, it can be easy to forget that they have taken something away from us, natural movement and exercise that in the past we would have done without realising it. It may not be convenient to embrace all of the ideas above, but perhaps choose just 3 to incorporate into your routines and see what benefits you notice.

Paul offers Psychotherapy and counselling, EMDR and Clinical Supervision. If you are struggling with any issue and would like to make an appointment with Paul please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can. For more information about Paul please take a look at the About Paul PageFrequently Asked Questions Page and The Counselling Services Page.

Useful Articles – The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Better Health – Exercise and Mental Health

Health Direct – Exercise and Mental Health

Mayo Clinic Depression and Anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms

Walden University – 5 Benefits of Exercise

On this Website

Exercise and Mental Health – Developing a Practice

Walking for Mental Health

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