The past few months were anything but easy. It has been difficult for both kids and adults. People have been confined to their homes with no idea what to do and when life is going to get back to normal. Corona has affected thousands of people all over the world. People not only suffered physically but their mental health also took a toll.
With long hours spent in front of the TV or work from desks, many people gained weight considerably. People are moving a lot less than they used to as outings and gatherings were restricted. People have been bound to stay indoors that has led them to an inactive routine. With the emotional and mental stress most of us are going through right now, exercise has become more important than ever.
And this isn’t just to look good or maintain appearances, it is for sound mental health.
The Relationship Between Exercise and Our Mental Health
A famous piece of advice is that even during any crisis, one should try to look at the brighter side. With time, people are realizing the benefits of exercise. It is not only good for a healthy body but a healthy mind as well. Since a second wave is expected in many countries still, one cannot say when the beaches will open. But, being restricted from socializing and going out in nature has led people to experience anxiety, brain fog, and no motivation.
Being stuck at home for months alone or even with a family with not much to do has affected the physical and mental health of many. People are suffering emotionally as well. Rather than worrying about things that are beyond our control, maybe we could concentrate on what we can control.
Benefits of Exercise
One of the key benefits of exercise is that it helps in calming our nerves. As a result, it is advantageous for the nervous system. Studies have shown that exercising is way more beneficial than antidepressant drugs or psychotherapy for getting rid of symptoms of anxiety and depression. The movement also helps in efficient dealing of stress. Also, it helps with the management of emotions too.
Exercise acts as a stress reliever. The more we move, exercise, and sweat, the more accustomed our bodies get to handle stress. This means that when coming face to face with actual stressors, very much like the pandemic, we are in much better condition to manage them.
When you exercise, it helps in:
- Making you feel calm when you are stressed, overwhelmed, or distracted
- It helps in lowering your anxiety levels and manage mild panic attacks
- Helps in clearing brain fog
- Boost energy and concentration
- Boost feelings of hope and optimism
- Improve motivation and willpower
It Is Okay to Not Achieve Your Decided Goals
These are difficult times. So, it is perfectly fine if you were not able to lower the bar. Some people are driven to get what they want to achieve. They aim to give their best, their peak performance no matter what it is. A professional victory, a personal wish, or getting their desired body.
When the world around you is topsy turvy, it is rather normal to plateau or even go back a few steps on your training. Although we would like to go smoothly and constantly towards our goals, that is not how it happens. What you need to do is aim for both consistency and quality, regardless of whether you are making it big or not.
The Best Exercises to Do
When it comes to exercise, there is no-size-fits-all. Since everybody is different. Not every exercise might work out for you. Some prefer to do slower movements like walks, stretches, yoga, and mobility work. Then, some love higher intensity exercises and love the grind.
With the present condition, the best combination would be if the heart rate increases slow gentle movements.
Make Exercise a Habit
Regardless of the type of exercise that you do, make sure that you exercise every single day. The key is to stay active. Even small steps are fine. For those who have never exercised before, go easy on yourself. You are just beginning and it is okay to be slow and undecided at first. At least you are doing something. Even that is going to have positive impacts on your health.
If you are working from home, see that you get up after every hour and then move around for a bit. Stretch, pace a bit, twist, jump a bit. The key is to get moving. Walking is the best way to begin your fitness regime. Start with a regular walk, then move to a brisk walk, jogging, and then running. This would gradually build stamina so you can move to proper workout routines.
Easy Workout at Home
There are some workouts that you can easily do at home. Since all gyms aren’t open yet. The goal is a consistent quality movement. And when it comes to your mental health, these are going to go a long way. Keep moving one day at a time. Here is a small routine:
- Do 15 air squats
- Do 10 push-ups
- Do 10 superman raises and then,
- A 30-second plank hold
As said earlier, everybody is different. For some, the pandemic has given them time to reflect. Those who never had time to do a simple workout even are now investing their time and energy into having a defined physique. Bodybuilding is an art. It takes time, effort, and complete dedication. One cannot expect overnight results. If you have set out on its path, you should be prepared for setbacks. There are going to be some slow days, and you might feel that there is no point in trying. But even then, you should never stop. Once you really get into it, you would see how fun it is to see your lean smart body grown into a proper muscled physique with bulging biceps.
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