I remember when I first thought about getting into exercise and fitness, and thinking how much of a chore it was going to be, that it was an extra item on my itinerary and was it going to be worth it? Fast forward twelve years and I’m now a Personal Trainer & Coach, and I love what I do.
The benefits of exercise have changed my life profoundly, and I couldn’t be happier that I took that leap. Something that I realised very quickly was that exercising was a way I could switch off to all outside stimulus; to fully focus on me, the form of the exercise, the next rep or just pushing myself that little bit further which pushed any other thoughts to the back of my mind. This practice was akin to meditation, something I’d never done before, but it was a hugely beneficial facet of exercise I hadn’t expected. In this day and age, with a lot of bombardment from various sources, a little introspection and mental care goes a long way.
The mental ties to exercise (resistance training or cardiovascular exercise) are profound. A massively beneficial process of exercise is Neurogenesis. This process is where new mental pathways are formed in the brain, helping brain function and improving our mental health. This process physically improves hippocampus cell production – which helps our memory and learning faculties.
With the release of hormones and endorphins, exercise also has an emotional benefit, and can really help with anxiety and depression. I know this first hand, as when I started exercising, I wasn’t in the best place emotionally, but as I began exercising, I realised I got to start off my day with a positive achievement and a sense of doing something just for me. This always gave me a really positive outlook on the day ahead, and helped bring that day into context.
For exercise form, it helps the ‘mind-to-muscle’ connection; this connection is essential for the engagement of specific muscles during exercise. This process is also important for correct form and reducing any injury risks through exercise, which will stand you in much better stead as you continue your exercise journey.
Exercise can transform more than just your muscle tissues, connective tissue and body systems, it can also readjust your mental outlook, improve your focus and help you meet new people in new surroundings. You could even pick up a new sport or hobby at the same time!
I’m a person that benefits a lot from having a routine, and having an exercise schedule definitely sets you up well for that. Then, once you get into that training groove, it becomes all about making exercise a habitual behaviour, which does take a little time. But this does set up those mental and physical fundamentals to help you achieve your goals.
So, if you feel like you’re unsure about getting more active, or getting started with exercise and the routine of exercise seems like a struggle, consider the obvious physical attributes, but also the subsequent emotional and mental benefits. And I can promise you, once you get started, you won’t regret it.
The ‘Training’ section of the Gravity Fitness Spotlight has a great variety of great workouts to get you started, regardless of budget, equipment or location, so you will be able to find something that’s right for you.