It's the mid-winter slump for most of the country that sees cold temperatures and inclement weather.
This is also the time that most resolutions have been dropped as folx focus on other areas of their lives to manage. Surveys over the years have shown that regular exercise is the first resolution to fall.
Many persons feel guilt or shame in dropping this resolution, but let's be clear, life gets in the way far too often. Obligations change, responsibilities for jobs and families increase, and The Year We Would All Like To Forget increased the challenges of managing time and obligations with good self care.
There's also all those decades of having it shoved at all of us that to find improvement to health, it has to be exercise/movement on par with readying one's self for climbing Mt. Everest. And with nearly as much equipment to do the exercises. It's far easier and less expensive to binge episodes from one's favorite streaming platform, and hope the excitement of the shows is enough to produce some cardio effects.
Newer research is finding that consistent exercise versus long workout times yields great results for health benefits, including boosting the chemistry of brains to lift moods. Research is ongoing related to exercise and boosting the efficacy rate of medications for mood disorders, but early studies (small population, short-term) are promising. Please note: no studies to date have shown that exercise alone can replace medications for mental health disorders. Please stay compliant with prescriptions, contact the prescriber for any concerns or questions.
The key is to pick a few things that are enjoyable to do. Put music on and get down in one's own home, spinning program via online, free yoga episodes on YouTube, walking around the block, free weights at home either on one's own or with a guided program. Fit the activity to one's schedule, mobility restrictions and health challenges, and one's interests, just be consistent in daily moving around.
"Physical activity and exercise are good ways to feel healthier, increase health benefits and feel good about yourself. As a universal goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you desire to lose weight or meet precise fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before commencing a new exercise schedule, particularly if you haven't exercised for a long time, or have chronic health difficulties, such as diabetes, heart disease or arthritis, or you have any relevant health concerns." (1)
Boost brain power, boost immune system, increase strength and stamina, lift mood, improve balance. So many good benefits to moving, and it doesn't have to be a massive 3-hour workout for 7 days a week. Just an activity to look forward to doing, taking a break, clearing one's thoughts, and find some peace.
If you're struggling with mood disorders in spite of being compliant with medications and physical activity, please reach out to a mental health professional.
Take care, and stay safe,
(1) Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity; MayoClinic.com https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389
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