Written by Adam Jones ,
One You Cheshire East Health & Wellbeing Coach
We all know that physical activity is ‘good’ for us… but why?

Aside from helping to control and manage our weight physical activity has several other benefits. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens muscles and bones. And this is to name just a few! Despite the majority of us knowing that moving more helps us to live healthier happier lives, not all of us are doing enough or even any at all. So rather than going over the same old facts about what physical activity does to our bodies, we want to try a different route. Lets discuss how physical activity makes us feel!

Improve your Self Esteem  

Self-esteem is a phrase that many will have heard of but not necessarily understand. Our self-esteem is the way that we perceive ourselves, how we feel about ourselves and how we rate our own self-worth. So what has self-esteem got to do with physical activity? Increasing levels of physical activity can actually increase our self-esteem and make us feel better about ourselves! When we feel more positive about our body image and overall health it improves our mood… simple!

Improved Sleep

Generally, if we are tired then we sleep better… But being physically active increases the likeliness of a good night’s sleep for more reasons that just making us tired! Physical activity helps to reduce stress levels and anxiety. This helps us to ease restlessness as well as reducing the risk of developing sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

Physical activity can also help increase the quality of our sleep. When we are more active, we spend more time in ‘deep sleep’ which is the ‘restorative sleep phase’. The deep sleep stage helps to boost the immune system, cardiac health and also reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Reduced Risk of Depression

Physical activity at any level or intensity has been shown to have a positive impact on our mood. This is partly down to the fact that exercise releases chemicals in our bodies. These cause reactions in our brains and facilitate lowered stress, increased positivity and generally happy thoughts! These ‘feel good chemicals’ are called endorphins. It is important to note that physical activity is not necessarily a cure for depression or mental health. It can simply be used as a tool to help promote a happy and healthy mind-set. Medical advice from a doctor or a medical professional should be sought after if you feel that your mental health is not as it should be!

More Energy!

Exercise makes us tired and less energetic right?… Wrong! In fact, being more physically active can actually increase our energy levels and make us more productive. Exercise trains our hearts to work more efficiently. This means it is able to support the muscles in our bodies more effectively and giving us that feeling of energy. When our hearts work more effectively, it also helps to boost brain function and alertness… Head and heart working in perfect harmony!

These are just a few of the many ways that physical activity helps us feel better. This is by no means an exhaustive list! Please remember that although the information provided is all based on scientific research and responsible sources, every one of our bodies works in different ways! This information is not to be taken as definitive ways of making us feel better, but to provide some information on ways that MAY help to improve health and wellbeing!

 

If you want to become a bit more active, we’re currently running free online exercise classes.

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