How Regular Workouts Enhance Overall Well-being
- 14 April 2021 14 April 2021
Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy”, the term “well-being” is often bandied about - particularly in recent times when mental health is so topical. Life remains far from normal and many of us are plagued by Zoom and desk fatigue. We've been eating, sleeping and working under the same roof with no real reason to leave our homes, and our “me time” often ends up being consumed by work - a recipe for physical and mental burnout. With this in mind, let’s explore how regular workouts can enhance our overall well-being.
Make time for exercise
It’s more important than ever to prioritise time out for yourself, and physical activity is one of the most constructive uses of this time. Exercise is a great way to alleviate stress, creating vital head-space to think out any work dilemmas or general life frustrations and come up with solutions. The UK Government states that “exercise has the potential to improve the physical and mental health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and the nation as a whole”.
Get into a routine
Having structure around exercise helps to lay the foundations for change in other areas of your life which can help to enhance your well-being You will start to make more mindful choices when it comes to nutrition and your health in general. You will also find that your sleep improves, you are better able to focus and your relationships with others will benefit.
Once you get into the habit of taking regular time out to exercise, you’ll discover a wealth of new meanings to “well-being”, for example: endorphin rushes, an ongoing sense of energy, the empowering feeling of becoming fitter and stronger, be that getting faster or lifting heavier weights, or perhaps becoming more flexible and discovering muscles you never knew you had. You will most likely also notice an improvement in your posture and various aches and pains easing.
How regularly should you exercise and where do you start?
The NHS advocates some form of physical activity every day, aiming for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. If you’re new to exercise or the thought of working out from home fills you with dread, start by taking up one of life’s simple pleasures: walking. A short walk will do you the world of good, particularly if you make it a regular habit. You’ll be amazed at the difference to your mood, productivity levels and self-confidence – the overall knock-on effect in other areas of your life. After a while you will most likely be inspired to take up other forms of exercise.
Tips to stay on track:
- Find something that works for you and stop putting it off; there are so many ways to be active and you don't need to end up a sweaty mess to reap the rewards
- Diarise some actual 'you time' 2-3 times a week. It may mean waking up to 30 minutes earlier but it'll become something you actually look forward to.
- Don't allow yourself to get bored or you'll lose motivation again. Mix up your workouts and track your progress so you can adjust your workouts accordingly. Try speeding up, increasing your weights or adding more reps or another set as well as decreasing your rest time.
- Consistency is key, stay as consistent with the regularity of your workouts as possible and the habit will become less and less harder to break!
- Listen to your body. Don't push yourself to attempt at HIIT session if you're really not feeling it; follow a gentle yoga routine instead: this will get your blood pumping and re-energise you.
- If you need extra support or motivation, download a fitness app that suits you. There are plenty to choose from - one of the most well-known is Couch to 5k, which is inclusive of everyone, featuring a combination of walking and jogging. Another popular one is the FIIT app which allows you to stream a variety of unlimited classes.
- If you really struggle with motivation, see if a personal trainer can help, even if just for the short-term to get you started - you'll have scheduled appointments with somebody to guide you and hold you accountable whilst building your confidence and energy levels.
Keeping your mind and body strong with regular exercise will totally reset you and allow you to discover what well-being truly means for you. In short, to quote the Roman statesman Cicero from 70BC, "It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigour".
Eleanor is a Level 3-qualified personal trainer who works with clients of all ages and levels of fitness. Her tailored programmes incorporate a mixture of low/high intensity interval training plus resistance work and she is qualified to advise on nutrition to compliment this. She is also a single mum to a 5-year-old boy so recognises the challenges of balancing a busy schedule with a healthy lifestyle.
Visit Eleanor’s website here
Follow Eleanor on Instagram here