Did you see the ‘Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood’ documentary last week?
Joe bravely opened up about the impact his parents' 'severe mental health problems' had on him during his childhood.
During the documentary he revealed that he used exercise to de-stress and avoid the atmosphere at home.
He said: “If I hadn’t exercised, I would have been a nightmare. No one would have been able to control me. PE was the one subject I looked forward to because it helped me focus.”
Which is what I want to talk about today; the importance of exercise for mental health.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
When we exercise it releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that boosts your mood and make you feel good. Regular exercise can even have an impact on depression and anxiety.
The good news is, you don't have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Even just modest amounts of exercise can make a difference.
The trick is to make it enjoyable and don’t set your goals to high to begin with. If you have mental health issues and haven't exercised for a long time, setting yourself unrealistic goals like completing a marathon or working out twice a day will only leave you more despondent if you fall short. Better to set yourself achievable goals and build up from there.
Here are my top three ways to get your body moving and those endorphins flowing:
If you sometimes get food cravings, rest assured that you’re not alone!
Most people battle with the urge to eat high calorie, sugary foods like chocolate, cake, ice cream, and pizza on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, these excess calories and processed foods can harm your health and prevent you from losing weight.
The good news is, with the tips below, you can break those habits quite quickly and improve your health and fitness in time for Summer:
It’s 5 a.m. You’re comfortably lying in bed when your alarm clock breaks the peace to summon you for a morning workout.
“I’ll have time later.”
“I’ll get it done after work.”
They’re thoughts we’ve all had as the temptation of the snooze button takes over.
However, working out in the morning is the best thing you can do because you are immediately setting the tone for the rest of your day.
If you get yourself out of bed these are the benefits you’ll be rewarded with:
𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐌𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐦 - When you workout at high intensity your body continues to burn calories after the workout, even when you’re not moving. So, if you get your workout done early on a morning, you’ll still be burning calories while you go about your daily tasks.
𝗕𝗼𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗣𝗵𝘆𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗠𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗘𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 - Movement can be an excellent source of energy, something many of us need when we start our day. But beyond that, morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long.
𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗠𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗙𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗲𝗿 - Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood. Working out in the morning is always a great way to put yourself in a happy place to take on your day. This endorphin release will keep your spirits up all day long and leave you with a better attitude.
𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗳-𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 - Waking up early on a morning to exercise certainly requires self-discipline. It’s not easy at first and does get easier over time. But while you’re training yourself into a routine, the discipline is likely to spill over into other areas of your life too.
Making morning exercise part of your daily routine isn’t easy at first. You’ll have to be disciplined to wake up early. But it just takes a little time and practice to make it a habit. Here’s seven tips to help you get started:
Many things can cause stress. It can be caused by one big event or situation in your life. Or it might be a build-up of lots of smaller things.
Stress often occurs when you worry about something, feel under lots of pressure or face big changes in your life. It can also build up if you are going through a period of uncertainty or you feel like you don't have any control over certain situations.
Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to reduce stress. One of the best things being EXERCISE!
Here’s how exercise helps clear your mind:
Do you feel tired when you wake up on a morning?
Are you desperate for caffeine by mid-morning?
Does your energy take a nosedive in the afternoon?
If you’re experiencing those feelings above, one (or more) of these four issues could be affecting your energy levels…
1. Nutrient deficiency
A poor diet, deficient in key nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins can lead to fatigue, as your cells don’t have the necessary vitamins and minerals to produce cellular energy.
2. Sugar overload
Eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, pizza, cakes and cereals) triggers your blood sugar levels to spike rapidly.
Even though that will give you a quick energy boost, your blood sugars will soon come crashing down, leaving you feeling tired again.
3. Excess caffeine
Caffeine overstimulates the adrenal glands and puts the body into a stress response.
It can also cause insulin resistance, which means your body can’t get fuel (glucose) into your cells, resulting in fatigue.
Insufficient water prevents your cells from working efficiently.
Seventy per cent of the body is made up of water, and you need to constantly replace fluids lost throughout the day. Aim for a minimum of two litres of water each day.
If you’re feeling low on energy try these four simple lifestyle tweaks:
Most of us use the Easter holidays to spend time with friends and family, socialising, having fun and eating chocolate.
Four days of indulgent eating over Easter isn't going to do too much damage to your health or fitness - as long as you get straight back on track asap.
To help you, I've listed 5 of my best tips for getting back on the wagon after Easter:
It’s really important to encourage kids to help out in the kitchen. It teaches them lots of important skills from a young age, and the Easter holidays is a perfect time to get in the kitchen and have some fun.
I don’t mean putting some frozen chips and turkey dinosaurs in the oven though. I'm talking about cooking with healthy, fresh ingredients to make nutritious meals or snacks.
The habits they pick up now will stay with them for the rest of their lives, so building their confidence in the kitchen is one of the best things you can do as a parent.
My kids, Max and Jessica love helping out. I always promote fresh, nutritious foods when we cook together so they get used to eating healthy. They now make healthy choices on their own; I don't have to disguise veggies or battle with them to eat healthy foods.
Teaching your children about healthy eating isn't the only benefit of getting them in the kitchen though. Here are some other benefits too:
I love Easter time, there's lots of fun to be had. Easter egg hunts, crafts, baking, chocolate eggs, hot cross buns. It's always an action-packed couple of weeks with the kids.
But diet wise, it's a time of year that I dread!
I've just about got back into shape after Christmas and now I've got to deal with all of the temptations of Easter.
For weeks, supermarkets have been tempting us with their Easter aisles filled with chocolates, sweets and hot cross buns. They are so clever with their marketing and positioning that it almost feels like they are being forced upon us.
But, you don't have to give in. Easter can be a heathy time of year, without sacrificing fun.
Here are my tips for a healthy Easter:
How many times have you woke up with a splitting headache and feeling nauseous after a long night of drinking?
I've done it plenty of times. Last week I was out celebrating a friend’s birthday and ended up having a few too many drinks.
I woke up the next day with a bad head, but it didn’t last long
How did I get rid of the hangover?
I didn't have more alcohol, I didn't guzzle fizzy pop, or have a greasy McDonalds.
I stayed hydrated with water and went for a walk.
I didn't workout at full intensity; it was just a brisk walk, enough to get a little bit out of breath and elevate my heart rate slightly,
How does exercise help get rid of a hangover?
When people first think about starting an exercise programme they're often unsure where to start.
Joining a gym can be daunting if you don’t know what exercises to do, or how to use the equipment.
Going running on your own can be intimidating.
If you’re a beginner to exercise and you find yourself in this situation, group training could be your solution.
Joining a class can help build a foundation and structure that you can use to fuel your personal health journey for years to come.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits: