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Taja Watkins-Scott, BS
Physical Health & Wellness Associate
I was a bit of an all-rounder when it came to sports but going to the gym had never appealed to me, even in my adult life. Funnily enough, I didn’t join the gym until late 2017. This wasn’t even by choice. I was forced to after recovering from a serious back injury that could have ended my career before it even had a chance to get off the ground. 2017 was one of those years where everything that could go wrong did go wrong and more. It severely impacted my mental health and wellbeing. That was until I joined the gym of course.
I joined to strengthen my back and core to prevent any future injuries. My PT (aka my sister luckily) worked me hard and the bonus was that I noticed aesthetic changes in my body and even more importantly, I began to notice the improvement in my mental health. My levels of anxiety gad reduced massively.
The Science: How does exercise improve your mental health?
Many studies have concluded that regular exercise will positively impact your state of mental health (even when it is already in a good place). It can assist with improved sleep including better quality sleep and being able to get off to sleep more efficiently.
Exercise will improve your overall mood due to the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormones).
In regards to stress and anxiety, exercise can help with overthinking as it provides a new focus for your mind. It also releases cortisol which is a stress management hormone. (This information was sourced from mind.org.uk)
Working out regularly, alongside adopting other healthy lifestyle habits such as daily meditation, improving my diet, drinking more water, clearing out negative energy (this can include improving on your own negative thought patterns, distancing yourself from negative loved ones or even clearing out negative pages from your social media feed etc) has put me in a position where my mental health is in a place where my new constant is that I am well. Today, I am in a good place where the bad days are further and fewer between.
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