Exercise boosts your mood and energy. There is no doubt about this as countless scientific studies have shown. The World Health Organisation prescribes;
- Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
- Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
- For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
- Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
This is a good start to your plan to increase your endorphin levels, or body’s natural ‘feel good’ hormones (serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine) that can give us what many consider to be a natural high. Mentally, we feel more alert and energised after a workout and over a prolonged time, exercise improves our cognitive function and concentration.
Cardiovascular exercise, where you get your body moving, your heart pumping and increase exertion will improve your heart health and circulation. It enhances blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Obviously, as your heart is pumping and your body moving, you are burning calories at a more increased rate than being sedentary.
If heading to the gym and getting sweaty doesn’t appeal, Yoga and Pilates have been found to reduce depression and anxiety. Even going for a brisk walk can boost your energy levels and help to reduce depression.
What is important, is that you find some form of exercise or movement that suits you. Whether that is running, yoga, strength training or karate. You can be a gym junkie or a solo mountain explorer, it doesn’t matter as long as you are moving, your heart is pumping and your muscles are being strengthened. But being consistent in your practice and enjoying your exercise is key to a longer, more fulfilling life.