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Exercising In A Pandemic, Is It Worth The Risk?

In a time where you are not allowed to go and see your family and friends, the government still allow us to leave the house to exercise, why?

The decision to still allow people to leave their homes to exercise should highlight the importance of physical activity to everyone in this country. With so many benefits both physically and mentally with minimal risk, if guidelines are followed, physical activity should be one of the most important parts of our new daily routines.

Whether it be a relaxed bike ride, a hard workout or a gentle stroll we can all benefit from the effects exercise brings to us and our families. With most of the country on lockdown, exercise is becoming a highlight of many people's days.

Some of the well known physical benefits of exercise include

  • It strengthens your heart

  • It increases energy levels

  • It lowers blood pressure.

  • It improves muscle tone and strength.

  • It strengthens and builds bones.

  • It helps reduce body fat.

  • It makes you look fit and healthy.

Mental benefits are not so well understand but are worth emphasising

Having recently completed an online course from the Open University in Exercise and Mental Health, I wanted to share some of my findings from the course along with some of my own personal experiences.

  • Chemicals released and suppressed during exercise - The release of endorphins during exercise has a positive effect on our mood. The hormone is the body's natural painkiller and contributes towards that 'high' after exercise that you will experience. Exercise will also suppress adrenaline and cortisol which both contribute towards stress.

  • Increased self confidence - As we manage to avoid some of those unneeded chocolate bars or start to build muscle definition where we want it, our self confidence will improve giving us an increased self esteem and motivation to achieve even more of our goals. It is not necessarily a case of losing weight, but rather having a healthy focus on what we want from our bodies to ensure we are healthy and able to access the activities we wish to.

  • Relaxation - After a hard workout or even a brisk walk, you will feel relaxed and have a real sense of achievement. The completion of exercise will make you feel productive and can be a trigger to start a successful and productive day.

Take care of yourself and your family at this time

With more days ahead in lockdown, make sure to take care of yourself and your family with a healthy daily does of exercise. Stay positive and enjoy the time you have with those closest to you.

Open University course on Exercise and Mental Health


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