No doubt, many of you may have heard the phrase “A healthy body makes a healthy mind” but is there any real substance to this? At a time when the world has been turned upside down and people can no longer go about their daily business with freedom of movement, we find ourselves limited to living within a confined area. The benefits of exercise related to mindfulness and mental wellbeing have long been talked about and it may be beneficial to revisit some of these claims in a bid to rebalance our minds and maintain our health.
For many, the thought of a workout is enough to stop us from doing it and it’s all too easy to find an excuse for not doing anything especially at the moment when the TV and kitchen are easily to hand. However, should we do a workout and get our heart rates up a little, we feel an immense sense of achievement at completing it. In addition and somewhat ironically, we often feel like we have more energy after the event and somehow, the troublesome problems and stress we had at the beginning, do not appear to be as big an issue as previously thought.
There has been a lot of scientific research examining the benefits of exercise and many people start exercising to give them a different focus often in times of adversity. For some, it’s about setting and beating personal goals and challenges, for others, it’s a distraction technique (with maybe physical benefits) but for all, it gets people out of their heads and into their bodies. The additional benefit of this is that it can also improve our ability to think clearly and break those storms of thoughts and ideas that play out in our heads that often add to our stress and anxiety.
It should be stressed that none of the above require you to become an Olympic athlete. Low intensity exercise like walking on the spot and stretching triggers the release of endorphins which make you feel good releasing the flow of oxygen around your body a little faster. The great thing about exercise is that it also helps to establish a routine each day and gives you a different focus from work, schoolwork or even being a parent! Each of us are different, a workout for one may not be appropriate for another, so find something you enjoy and that is achievable for you. At this unprecedented time, ideas for managing our body and mind may help us get through this period fit, healthy and happy.
Head of Primary