Friday, 17 May 2013

Mental Health Awareness Week, Exercise is good for the mind.


This post should have been written yesterday if not even earlier in the week, but that just about sums up how my week has been!!!  I had it mentally written it in my head at about 2 am this morning and at that point should have acted on it.  After a particularly stressful and busy day at work I came home with the beginnings of a migraine. Trying to kick it into touch I decided to go to bed at 5 pm  waking at 9.30 pm and subsequently was unable to sleep for the majority of the night.
Not a good start to my first aid training today. I'm sure at one point my lack of interest and droopy eyes would have given the instructor good reason to confuse me with the resuscitation dummy. The only visible difference was that I had legs!!
Anyway, back to the reasons behind this post. This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme being Exercise and Well-being I thought I could share my recent experiences of exercise and fitness and the benefits to your mental health.
To a lot of people you mention exercise, and visions come to them of testosterone packed gyms, sweaty bodies, pumping iron or pounding the pavements. There is so much emphasis put on the body beautiful, the visual, improving your physique, getting a flat stomach or 'bikini body' and fat burning. What about reducing your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis or keep your body and mind active?  Not forgetting the social aspect, enjoyment and fun. Yes.... exercise and fitness can actually be fun. Have you ever tried Zumba?
Whats going on inside of your skeleton is more important than what you look like outside of it!
I originally signed up with a personal trainer because I needed to get my body back to the strength it was before I had an operation, and also because I needed to tone up the muscles which hadn't been used due to immobility. I was aware of concerns friends had due to my history of eating disorders but was confident in my ability to be mindful of what I could achieve, and I was the one in control......or rather Phil the trainer was!
So for the past 3 weeks I have been out twice a week if not more being pushed and motivated to run, walk, jog, punch, lift kettle bells, plank, crunch, squat and various other punishing exercises. I have no idea if I have  changed my body in any way shape or form yet but what I do know is this,

* I have a great sense of achievement from reaching a goal, however small.
* I feel like I am looking after my body rather than abusing it.
* Despite the often hard routines I laugh and keep my sense of humour.
*When I have had a bad it gets rid of my tensions and angst.
* It helps me to sleep better.
* It increases my mood and energy level.
*I have an increasingly healthy appetite!
*My lung capacity has increased.
* I am motivated :)

What a brilliant list of things that improve my mental health and well being without taking medication, drinking excessively, smoking or eating too much or too little. 

Other things I have learnt from exercising:

* regardless of the size of your boobs 2 sports bras are better than one.
* star jumps are no good if you haven't done pelvic floor exercises after childbirth!
*The man on the seafront likes to watch me do chest presses so now I face his lounge window :)
*Kettle bells hurt if you hit yourself in the leg.
* My coordination is crap but makes it funny.
*When Phil says'duck' move your head out of the way or you may get hit.
* visualise someones face on the pad when boxing, I can guarantee a stronger punch.
*Star jumps are better if you sing YMCA along to them.
* The hokey cokey can be sang along to most exercises.
*When I do squats I look like I'm having a poo.
*Lycra is never attractive......end of!
*apparently I gurn a lot.
* I look like I'm having sex when doing several floor movements. (not sure how Phil knows this)
*I say, "I can't" a lot, then do it and swear.
*I like to run up grass banks, but get a little scared going back down.

So there you have it. Exercise is fun and good for you, but know your limitations. On that point I must share I'm having a week off as I've knackered my knee. My exercise this week will involve lifting a glass to my mouth and pointing the remote at the TV. Have a good weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent Blog, If only lots more could take inspiration from your self!!


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