Move it for your Mind: Why Breaking a Sweat is great for your Mental Health

July Masango | Occupational Therapist

Have you ever wondered why you feel so good after a workout? Evexia Occupational Therapist, July Masango is here to break it down for us. Turns out, there’s more to exercising than just getting those abs or hitting a new personal best. Here’s the lowdown on why getting active is a win-win for both your body and mind (Reference):

Top 5 Reasons to Get Moving:

  1. Beat the Blues: Working out isn’t just about building muscles; it’s also a mood booster. When we exercise, our brain releases a cocktail of “happy chemicals” like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. So, if you’re feeling down or anxious, a quick jog or dance session can be the pick-me-up you need!
  2. Find Your Tribe: Whether it’s joining a yoga class, playing soccer with friends, or just taking a walk with a pal, moving with others can be super fun. It’s not just about the exercise; it’s also about connecting, sharing, and sometimes, venting about that latest TV show cliffhanger. Plus, having a workout buddy means you’re more likely to stick to it.
  3. Boost Your Brainpower: Ever had a brain fog moment? Exercise can clear that right up. Getting active improves blood flow to the brain, helping with memory and focus. So next time you’re stuck on a tricky task, maybe a short walk is all you need.
  4. Keep Calm and Work Out: Stressful day? Instead of binge-watching your favourite show, try channelling that stress into a workout. Not only does it help you vent out those pent-up emotions, but it also builds resilience and helps you bounce back stronger.
  5. Balance It Out: Moving our bodies helps balance stress hormones like cortisol. This means you’ll feel more relaxed, sleep better, and have more energy. Win-win-win!

Not Sure Where to Start?

If the thought of hitting the gym makes you want to hide under your blankets, fear not! Start small:

  • Take a 5-minute stretch break.
  • Aim for a quick walk around the block.
  • Choose stairs over the elevator.
  • Dance to your favourite song in your living room (bonus points if you sing along).
  • Rope in a friend and find an activity you both love.

As you get into the groove, you can level up your exercise game. Maybe join a Pilates class, take up cycling, or even challenge yourself to a fun run.

Remember, the goal is to have fun and feel good. And the cherry on top? Your mental health gets a boost too. So, put on those sneakers and get moving! Every little bit helps, and before you know it, you’ll not only see but feel the difference.

When Moving Seems Impossible…

Sometimes, it’s just one of those days (or weeks, or months) where even the thought of moving feels like climbing Everest. Maybe you’re feeling super down, anxious, or just can’t find the energy. And that’s totally okay. 

If you find yourself stuck in this space and can’t seem to shake it off, remember you’re not alone. The team at Evexia are here to help. Whether you need advice, someone to chat with, or just to share what’s on your mind, they’ve got your back. Sometimes, talking can be the first step towards healing.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Your journey is uniquely yours, and there’s no shame in reaching out.

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