We don’t want to admit it, but exercise is good for us. Not only does it keep us physically healthy, it can improve our mental health as well. Simple activities such as taking a walk or getting in a quick workout at the gym can reduce stress, anxiety and even depression.
While it may seem daunting to start exercising, just remember that it’s okay to start with something as small as taking a walk. Don’t set unrealistic goals right from the start. You can always set larger goals as the smaller goals are reached. You can try to do the following things to help keep you motivated to exercise:
- Pick an activity that you enjoy doing. As long as you are moving, you are exercising. It can be something like window shopping at the mall or riding your bike instead of taking the car to a store. If you have a dog, you can take it on a walk. Not only will you be exercising, you’ll be bonding with your pet.
- Make sure you’re comfortable. When you decide to exercise, pick a time of day that works for you. Try to wear comfortable clothing, so you aren’t going for a jog in jeans. Pick a place that can you enjoy being, like your favorite park or a path next to a river.
- Reward yourself for your hard work. In addition to feeling more energize when you are through with your workout, make sure you give yourself a pat on the back for putting in the effort. It can be something like a hot bath or an extra episode of your favorite show on Netflix.
- Ask friends to join you. Make exercising a social thing. Invite your friends to go to the park with you, or take a romantic walk with your loved one. Not only do you get to enjoy the time spent bonding with your close friends and family, it can motivate you to stick to it. Sometimes having company is just as important as exercising.
There are many mental health benefits to getting exercise such as higher self-esteem and more energy. You will be able to sleep better at night, and you will find that your mind is clearer and your memory is sharper. You will also feel a stronger resilience in yourself when faced with challenges. You can use exercise as an outlet rather than turning to unhealthy alternatives.