We always hear that exercise is for the body, but we forget howabsorbent the mind is to our habits. What happens to the mind when wepush ourselves to be physical? In what ways does the brain change when weprogram it with healthy habits? It is time to explore the multitude of benefitsthat come with exercise, beyond just the body.
The brain is a seriously powerful and complex organ, highly adaptive to its environment and conditioning. It would be foolish to think that healthy habits would not have some sort of healthy impact on it. In fact, one of the most notable benefits to exercise for the brain is increased ability to retain memory and thinking. The endorphins released from exercise not only make you happier and overall feel better, they contribute to increased concentration, which allows you to feel alert with your tasks. In addition, it promotes new brain cell growth, which prevents age-related mental decline.
An investment in oneself and self-care reflects very well within the brain. When exercise is regular, it harvests a sense of feeling brave, strong, and powerful. Setting fitness goals and achieving them is sure to make anybody happy, and make them feel proud of their accomplishments.
As the outdoor activities slowly start packing up and the daylight hours become shorter, our exposure to sunlight also greatly reduces. This leads to a phenomenon called SAD. When we're exposed to sunlight, our serotonin levels increase. Serotonin is a chemical responsible for a variety of things, such as maintaining our circadian rhythm and reducing our negative emotions. With a lack of serotonin, we become more vulnerable to mood shifts and having inconsistent sleep. Both of these significantly contribute to making us feel more depressed, and leads us to feeling more tired, both physically and mentally. To counteract this, it is highly important to take advantage of any sunlight during the winter days, and to always have some vitamin D tablets at home.
Although winter can be a huge obstacle in your journey for self-improvement, it shouldn't stop your grind altogether. There are many resources for mental health support and many ways to continue exercising even when your local park may be a bit too slippery to have a jog through.
It's Easy to Get Moving, Right Where You Are.
There are plenty of ways to get moving, even if you don't have a gym membership or access to equipment. If you're at home, try doing some push ups against your bed (or another solid surface) and then hold yourself in plank position for as long as possible. This can be challenging—and it's amazing how quickly your arms will feel the burn!
Another option is “chair dips”: put your hands on the edge of a chair and lower yourself until your knees form 90-degree angles with the floor. You may want to place pillows under your knees if they don't reach far enough down; otherwise, try placing one foot at a time on top of a chair seat so that it provides extra height for this exercise.
In addition to working out major muscle groups like chest and arms, these moves also stimulate circulation throughout the body by engaging blood vessels near joints like wrists and elbows—which means more oxygen getting into cells so they function better overall!
If you feel that these exercises are simply not enough, or if you just feel the urge to visit the gym without having to go through the cold commute, why not pick up a few of our products and build your own gym in the comfort of your home?
If all else fails there's always walking—just make sure it counts! A brisk walk around town might not seem like much but it's actually great for heart health because each step pumps extra blood through arteries around our bodies which helps keep everything running smoothly from brain cells down through leg muscles (the same reason why we go outside when we need fresh air).
Building the Winter Mindset
Although winter can be daunting for mental health, and can restrict a lot of our social life, there are still many ways you can prevent yourself from falling into a complete mental "shutdown".
Exercise can help you to sleep better at night. A good night's sleep is very important for a healthy mind, body, and spirit, so if exercise helps you sleep better then it will definitely contribute to your overall well-being.
Exercising regularly can reinforce your self-image in a positive way because it makes you feel good about yourself. You are doing something good for your health and that will give you a boost of positivity when it comes to how you view yourself as an individual.
Regular exercise reduces stress levels, as having a regular routine lets you constantly look forward to a set task every day. In most cases, you will find yourself spending a lot of time indoors during the winter. Having a regular exercise time set gives you a foundation to work the rest of your day around. Even if you end up not doing anything the rest of the day, you can rest assured knowing that even just the routine exercise made the entire day productive.
By reducing our negative emotions and maintaining discipline, we can overcome the harsh winter and effectively continue our grind for personal fitness. No matter what your motivation or reason is to get fit, it is mandatory to give an equal amount of attention to your mental health just as much your physical health.