We all know how beneficial exercise is for our bodies, but have you ever wondered what the benefits of exercise for your mind are?
By being physically active, you’re contributing not only to an improvement in your physical wellbeing but also your mental health.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
According to the NHS, exercise can help reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
It can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, clinical depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults should do at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week.
To stay healthy, you don't need to break a sweat for hours in the gym. Around 20 minutes of moderate-intensity daily exercise would contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
WELLBEING EXERCISE IDEAS
Choose the physical activities that you enjoy the most (or, at least, the ones you hate less) and that fit into your lifestyle. If you force yourself to do something you don't enjoy, you're much less likely to keep it going, so try to diversify your activities, and maybe venture outside your comfort zone once or twice. This will also contribute to avoiding workout boredom as a result of doing the same routine every single day.
If you haven’t been active, start gradually. Remember not to push yourself too far – enjoy the moment and trust that you will improve with time.
GETTING OUT – OUTDOOR EXERCISES
- Go for a walk in your local green spaces. If possible, walk through the park on the way to work, school or the shops.
- Find your local outdoor gym – where exercise equipment is provided in outside spaces for people to use for free.
- Stroll around your garden or do some gardening.
- Go for a walk or bike ride in the countryside.
- Play a game or practise a mindful sport, such as yoga, Pilates or tai chi in the park.
STAYING IN – INDOOR EXERCISES
- Try an online workout or stretching routine, either with an instructor online or on YouTube.
- Do your household chores. Yes, they count as exercise too! Chores such as vacuuming or doing the laundry may burn as many calories as a workout.
- Break up long periods of sitting time with a quick activity or sitting exercises.
- Play a fitness game.
- Choose sports that don’t require a lot of equipment, such as yoga and Pilates.
- Play your favourite song – and dance!
GREEN EXERCISE – BENEFITS OF EXERCISING IN NATURE
Several studies have shown that physical activity in the presence of nature, also known as green exercise, can provide health benefits above and beyond those provided by physical activity alone.
Findings show that exposure to nature can lead to a decrease in stress levels and anxiety, and boost mood and self-esteem to a greater extent than urban or indoor settings.
GREEN EXERCISE AT HOME
We can still enjoy the benefits of green exercise indoors, with nature-inspired workout spaces.
HOW TO BRING NATURE INDOORS:
- Set your workout space next to a window or other area where you can benefit from natural light and a view of green space.
- Bring natural and organic elements into your workout space, such as houseplants, green walls (a wall of plants), and exercise equipment made of natural materials, such as cork and wood.
- Invest in a durable non-toxic mat, preferably made of natural materials.
Regular exercise has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing, not only physically but mentally. Only 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day could have a huge impact on your energy, mood, self-esteem and stress levels.
Exercising in nature or in nature-inspired environments has been proved to boost the benefits of simply exercising. Such a boost can be obtained by exercising outdoors in nature or by bringing the outdoors in by working out in a nature-inspired space.
At Noveme, we are on a mission to harness the power of nature to create beautiful, functional and sustainable exercise equipment. Discover our debut product – the Natural Yoga Mat – and enjoy a practice in tune with nature.