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Mind and Body Fitness: How Exercise Can Improve your Mental Health

Updated: Jan 23, 2023


Choosing yourself everyday is a quest that never ends. Every morning and every evening we have the opportunity to mentally set ourselves up for success.


It’s up to us to make our day/our week, what we want it to be.


Choosing YOU, making changes for YOU, trying NEW things, is how we EVOLVE, GROW, and PROSPER.


Being a part of a community, be it at work, with close friends, family time, a book club, a fitness practice, these all may support you on your daily quest.


Choosing any form of movement, fitness style, checking back in with yourself, sweating, dancing, bouncing on a trampoline (as we do), these are all tools to boost your mood and most likely, with consistency, change your life!


“Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.”

- Guszkowska M.. Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood [in Polish] Psychiatr Pol. 2004


Below are a few steps, ideas, and thoughts on how to uphold a consistent wellness practice, both with your fitness routine and beyond.



 


7 WAYS TO CHOOSE YOU


1. START SMALL


Like many of us, as the New Year approaches or the School year starts and we suddenly get into, “start-over-mode”, wanting to do a life re-haul with everything all at once. We're throwing out every piece of clothing we own, donating shoes we haven’t worn in 6 months, purchasing that shake we keep seeing an ad for on instagram, swearing to go to the gym 6 days a week, maybe even 7, while also committing to a 30-Day Yoga Challenge because we keep telling ourselves that we need to stretch more.


Plus wouldn’t it be a fun party trick to have “the splits“ by the summer!?


Dial it back…


Narrow down the lengthy to-do-list and pick your top 3 to start with.


No matter the season, no matter the month, or the day of the week, it doesn’t need to be Monday or a New Year to start a new habit or push towards a new goal…just start :)


2. MAKE A REALISTIC PLAN


For an example, say you jumped into a fitness challenge and also wanted to journal at night before bed…before the week begins look at the class schedule, your gym’s hours, and be it in your google calendar, on your phone, or in an actual planner with paper and pen (this is me), write it all down. Book the classes, buy your favorite candle specifically for pre-bed-journaling, write down your schedule, plan your weekend around this, and make it your top priority.


Ultimately the priority isn’t just showing up to these classes, the priority is yourself. Show up for YOU and don’t let yourself down.


3. BE KIND TO YOURSELF


Every day, every week, will always bring something unplanned. Something happens to the car, the dog needs to go to the vet, you suddenly feel under the weather, whatever it is, you're plan will get thrown. Give yourself grace and patience to get back on track when it is reasonable to do so.


4. HAVE FUN


Of the many different mood boosting exercises out there, did you know that Cardiovascular and Aerobics are one of the best for creating the intensity required for the release of mood-raising endorphins in your body?


At Perspirology, we're all about dance cardio and trampoline fitness, but there are many other forms of exercise that are scientifically proven to boost mood and reduce depression and anxiety.


A lot of times, particularly in fitness, exercise is made out to be a chore when there is always an opportunity to find a type of exercise that fuels you and lifts you up!


• Also, ask yourself this, why is this important to me?

• How will I feel 6 weeks from now when I complete this?


• Will I feel better showing up or giving up?


• What is the version of myself that I am seeking after I achieve this goal?


Setting a roadmap for yourself of attainable goals with activities you enjoy, will undoubtably lead to change you want to see, both in your mood and body!


5. SHOW UP FOR YOU


The #1 thing that matters when we set goals for ourselves is ourselves. Our well-being, our mental and physical health trumps anything else.


“Every time you're given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.” (Glennon Doyle, Untamed).

Now this may come off as blunt/selfish/not a way to be a giving and loving person, but I see it as a reminder to not neglect ourselves and our needs.


• To never set aside our plans at the last minute.

• To choose ourselves.

•To stick to goals we set out for ourselves.


Wildly enough, doing this will create MORE space and willingness to walk into someone else’s world because you had the personal time you needed.


You didn’t jeopardize your mental fortitude and health in fear of someone being mad or disappointed in you. You made yourself a priority so that when you do show up for others, you are fully you, fully present, and fully ready to engage.


6. CELEBRATE THE LITTLE WINS


All change is a marathon, it’s a process, and the process should never be rushed or taken for granted. The process is the real beauty. The nitty gritty of learning and changing.


The sweat, the tears, the mistakes, the mental gymnastics of wanting to run in the other direction, but the beauty lies in lasting. When we outlast the self doubt, the brain tricks, the anxiety, and the worry, we rise far beyond the strength we ever thought we had.


“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” (Marienne Williamson, A Return to Love).

7. TRUST YOURSELF


Lean into your gut, your instincts, and what you love. If you try something and it genuinely doesn‘t feel like a good fit, then pivot, try something else.


Are you going to buy a pair of jeans that don’t fit just because you don’t want to go to another store?


Well, don’t answer that...Let's just say at some point we have all probably done that and well, where did those jeans end up? Given to a roommate, donated, or in the trash…am I right? SO head to the next store and the next store and the next store and get the size best for that BOOTY!


You know YOU best. Your inner workings are your guide to actual quality change and ONLY you can make that happen!


“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them…Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”




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