When you’re feeling down, exercise may seem like the last thing on your mind. Maybe you just want to snuggle up under the covers and feel sorry for yourself. We all have days like this.
But forcing yourself to get up and moving is the best thing you can do, and it will make you feel better faster than any other remedy.
To help you on your journey, this guide offers reasons to use an exercise routine to help you stay on track with your new healthy lifestyle.
When your brain is racing 100 mph and you’re worrying about work, kids, finances, and other stressors, physical activity will help calm you down. According to National Health Service, exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety. It can be doubly beneficial to exercise in nature, and hiking is a great way to do it. The next time you go camping, be sure to pack a cooler plenty of supplies, a sturdy tent, and your best hiking boots to enjoy your time in nature.
Enjoy meditation-like rewards
Some people call the exercise “moving meditation” because it helps your brain focus on the task at hand, putting one foot in front of the other. As you run, you think about placing your feet, breathing, getting to the next corner, avoiding uneven pavement, and a host of other things. It makes you forget about everything that was stressing you out and helps you gain mental clarity. Studies have shown that the combination of physical exercise and meditation can help people with severe depression and anxiety.
It can be beneficial to have a dedicated space in your home for meditative exercise, such as your garden. If you plan to exercise or meditate in your garden, you may want to spruce it up to create a more positive environment. This can include changing the landscaping – if, for example, you want to bring more sunlight into your space, consider hiring a local tree felling service to gain more light. Create a positive and relaxing environment for yourself.
When you achieve a goal in your exercise routine, such as running a 5k, lifting a particular weight, or losing a certain number of pounds, you feel a sense of accomplishment that makes it easier to cope with tough times. Small accomplishments set you up for big successes. Just knowing that you’ve worked so hard on something can inspire you to continue on your path to happiness.
Change your life
If you’re bored or desperate, exercise might be just what you need. Having an exercise plan in place could help change your life for the better. Lindsay Patton-Carson of the Huffington Post Explain that exercise has helped her kick bad habits, crave better foods and feel more motivated. It sounds daunting, but once you get started it’s pretty easy. It also puts your mental focus on your new healthy body instead of your old habits.
Soothe anger issues
People going through difficult life events often have anger issues. Anger is usually caused by feeling overwhelmed by several stressors at once. When things pile up, it’s easy for people to react with anger. Fortunately, studies have shown that exercise can help reduce anger issues. If you start to feel angry, going for a run or a walk can calm you down and help you understand where those feelings are coming from instead of blaming your loved ones.
Use technology to improve your fitness
While nothing beats the personalized approach to training with a trainer, there are days when you won’t be able to make it to the gym. Thanks to technology, that doesn’t mean you have to put your workouts on hold. For example, if you don’t have a treadmill at home, you can jog around your neighborhood with just your smartphone and an app that helps you keep the rhythm.
Likewise, if you can’t make it to your favorite yoga studio, there are thousands of free videos you can stream on YouTube. Find one on your phone that suits your fitness level and connect it to your TV with a Chromecast device. It’s the next best thing to doing downward dogs in a classroom setting.
Of course, always talk to your doctor first. Work with your doctor to find a good program that suits your physical condition and level of health. From there, just move on. Start small, like walking, then move on to more challenging activities as you get stronger and healthier.
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