Exercise is something I am extremely passionate about. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford to go to my local gym with a membership that allows me to do as many classes as I want and a crèche onsite that is super cheap and very good.
I was sceptical when people told me that exercising is good for your mental health however after I initially gave birth to W and was unable to go to classes, I realised that this is in fact very true. I firmly believe that a major contributing factor to my illness was the withdrawal of all the endorphins was body was used to.
Scientifically, exercise is effective in helping to cope with depression, stress, anxiety, ADHD and PTSD through not only the changes in the brain but also with concentration, tension, sleep and in some circumstances can actually be used as an anti-depressant instead of medication.
For me, a body combat class is a good way to deal with any anger or frustration I have along with making my mind focus on the steps. It also helps battle the insomnia I struggle with and gives me confidence with my body image, which unfortunately so many people are hung up about. I might be dripping with sweat, red faced, smelly and totally gross, but I feel great.
Yoga is also another hobby I have taken up and I try to practice this once or twice a week. My Wednesday morning class is a favourite, as the average age is probably well over 50 so much of the time there is a solid section on breathing and mindfulness which helps me feel calmer. A friend of mine (who is a yoga teacher) sent me a link to a website that demonstrates yoga moves by benefit; ie. poses that are good for anxiety, poses that are good for depression etc.
So, today if you’re feeling low or anxious, try a walk in the fresh air, or some yoga or get yourself down to the gym. It really does help.