During lockdown, the home workout industry skyrocketed and figureheads such as Joe Wicks helped everyone pull through. However, despite this, a lack of regular exercise and everyday movement still took its toll on the mental health of many of the 4.5 million who have a gym membership in the UK.
A lack of exercise affects not just physical health but also mental health. From a psychological point of view, it makes you feel more confident in your own body and can naturally motivate you to leave the house.
In an era where many struggle with their mental wellbeing, exercise shouldn’t be recognised as something which simply trims your waistline and improves your physique, it’s also the results you gain mentally from a one-hour training session.
Jeff Kloepping is an international fitness instructor with almost 15 years’ worth of experience in the training industry. After building on his passion for personal training back in 2004, he has recognised himself how important visiting the gym is for mental stability.
How it works
Life can get stressful and it’s crucial to clear our minds of any anxieties, pressures and negativity we feel. Studies have shown that exercising allows you to think more clearly and it increases the connections between the nerve cells in the brain. It has been proven that exercising can help to fight the symptoms of depression, anxiety and body dysmorphia, three common issues that many face.
Regular exercise can impact the serotonin levels in your brain positively which fights issues that can help to boost your mood and overall sense of well-being.
BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) can affect children as young as 13, thus impacting them throughout their entire teen years and into their adulthood. As a nation, we are so preoccupied with how we are perceived that it gradually affects our mental health and becomes an obsession.
Rather than comparing yourself to the next person, exercising will naturally boost your confidence and help to tackle this issue.
With the percentage of those affected by BBD on the rise in the UK, Jeff highlights that it’s important we work out to feel happier with our bodies and recognise the importance of having a health mindset.
Keep confidence high
Jeff highlights that working out not shouldn’t be solely for physical confidence but also mental. When we think we look good, we feel good too. It’s important to take care of how we see ourselves and have the confidence we deserve from taking care of our bodies.
We often wake up feeling guilty from snacking the night before, or after we struggle to find the time to visit the gym. However, it’s important to realise that we’re only humans, and we need to train ourselves to not let this affect our mental health.
Better quality sleep
It’s easy to forget the benefits of working out, especially in regard to sleeping. It may be surprising, but exercise can actually help your quality of sleep, which in turn helps out overall mental wellbeing.
Physical activity increases our body temperature, and once recovered, can make you feel drowsy and help to fall asleep. Jeff explains that sleep is crucial to our diets and exercise routine as it allows our body to recover and wake up feeling more confident and happier about yourself!
It’s recommended that the average person exercises for 30 minutes per day, 5 times a week. Whether that’s through power walking or a high intensity HIIT workout, even the smallest amount of exercise can make a huge difference on our mental wellbeing.