People often ask me what I do to stay in "shape"
To be honest I don't do anything to stay "in shape"
I choose to exercise at least a little bit a day even if it's just for one minute because I understand the importance of it to not just my overall phsyical health reducing the risk of illnesses like heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and osteopherosus that is very bad in my family. But my mental health too!
It's proven that exercise can make you feel better, even if you’re feeling okay! I know how hard it is to do any physical activity when your down. I don't believe exercise can cure severe, complex or multiple mental illnesses on its own. But I noticed in hospital when they made us go to the gym every morning (which I dreaded) I always came bounding back with heightened spirits!
Exercise makes you feel good because it releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. It can also get you out in the world, help to reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation, and put you in touch with other people.
If you exercise regularly , it can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues.
Exercise also helps improves your sleep, which is important in many different way. My anxiety is so bad my resting heart rate is 135!!! It's insane! Sure I take heart medication and antidepressants for it but there is no denying exercising helps eliveate the intensity of the flight or fight response.
I wouldn't say what I do is exercise in the sense I don't do classes or work out for an hour. But I make time every day to do even as little as 10 sit-ups or a minute of skipping. My goal is to built this up over time and make it part of my daily routine. Cleaning up my diet too has made me feel a hell of a lot better as well! Healthy body, healthy mind.
It's not a miracle cure but it is one of the many things I have chosen to prioritise in my life because I want to make sure I am doing absolutely everything I can to keep a healthy state of mind.