On exercise and mental wellness

All product featured AW16 New Balance.

Photographs by Elyse Kennedy.

The past year has seen the media draw a lot of attention to mental health and about time too. Nothing is as important as our mental wellness.

Suffering from a mental health illness for six years as a teenager isn’t something I’ve ever gone in to in much detail on my own platforms (although I did write about it for NYLON here) but finding balance in all areas of life is something I do always openly and strongly advocate both on this site and social media.

Exercise is good for the mind and I’m not just talking about ‘endorphins that boost your mood' after a great workout. Here are the reasons why exercise is so important for many aspects of life.

It teaches self-discipline

We don’t give ourselves enough credit for simply getting ourselves to the gym to workout or throwing on our running trainers and hitting the pavements. 

Doing something on a regular basis, especially if you don’t particularly enjoy it, is a skill. It’s translatable to so many other areas of life whether it be a menial task at work or an event you can’t be arsed with.

It initiates self-care

If you’re working out regularly, in my opinion, there’s a much higher chance that you’re looking after yourself better too. I pay more attention to what I’m eating. I generally appreciate myself and my body to a greater extent.

It gives you time out

This is one of the most important parts of exercising for my mental health. I leave my phone (and my worries) in the gym changing room and for an hour, my full focus is the task in hand. If I’m running, I turn my phone onto don’t disturb. There’s no distraction, checking social media or emails. It’s 100% me time and as a generation, we don’t get enough of that.

It stimulates the brain

A little research into why exercise is actually good for you, according to the professionals, is because exercise facilitates storing information and your memory. Both of which are key for mental wellness.

A sense of challenge and achievement 

Challenging yourself and achieving something new, whether you come first or last, are things we’re told are important time and time again as a child yet, somewhere along the way, this seems to be lost in translation with age. 

Creating a challenging goal is the first step to a new achievement and this is something that’s at the core of exercise but, once again, relates much further than it too.

Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with New Balance.

No 38

H&M jumper* | Topshop skirt | Asics trainers* | Raybans from The Sunglass Hut*.

Photos by Mohammed Abdulle & Kris Atomic for The Apartment. Hair by Priv.

Just a quick one from me with a few snaps from LFW by the great guys at Comb shot at the equally great blogger space, The Apartment.

A huge shoutout to The Apartment for fuelling, watering and make up-ing us all over LFW. The place is literally something of a LFW sanctum for bloggers, that's for sure.

Five Reasons To Ditch Your Gym Membership and Work Out On Your Mobile

photographs by Elyse Kennedy.

Brought to you by the #NewNormal, O2's mission to question, explore and understand how the mobile is changing the way we act and interact as humans.

These days, there's nothing our phones can't do. We no longer have the need to carry around a pen and notebook or a phonebook of contacts. Our bags aren't weighed down with a camcorder to capture special moments - we can now capture every moment, in slow mo, sped up or a dog face filter if we so wish.

I decided to give up my gym membership for a month and rely solely on my phone. It turns out that at the touch of a few buttons and an internet connection, everything you need to guide you can be found on your phone screen, from the comfort of your living room.

The adjustment wasn't easy but there have been many positives of the switch:

Using your phone is free

Well, almost. There are a few fitness and health apps that have an initial cost and some others that have a monthly fee but none of these are ones that I recommend. 

Nike's Training Club app provides every workout you could ever imagine with step by step guides with the trainer carrying out the exercise on your phone screen for you to copy with accurate timings and alarms too. There are so many various workouts, which start from a beginner level and go to advanced. There's something for everyone and it doesn't cost a thing - the same definitely can not be said about my gym membership.

You get to experience your city

Nothing beats running your city, especially if there are a few landmarks along the way. Running outside is a great way to get to know your way around a city if you're new to it or explore unfamiliar areas even if you aren't. 

There's something about running from a to b that seems more productive, plus it's also a better workout for you than running on a treadmill! 

There are so many various apps to track runs - I'd recommend the RunKeeper, Nike Running Club or Couch to 5K - and record time and pace for a little healthy competition against yourself too. These apps even offer training programmes if you're working towards a specific race or goal.

It's ten times more convenient 

For the past year, I've spent my life planning my life around gym classes. With your phone, you can exercise whenever you want. for however long you want. There's no trek to the gym and back so, not only are you saving money but you're also saving time. 

It doesn't get boring

There's something very monotonous about heading to the same space, with the same equipment to work out every time. I like being able to pick whether I feel like doing yoga in my room or in my living room - I'm living A LOT over here. 

In all seriousness, you can switch up run routes, go use a park bench for squat jumps or roll out a yoga mat in the middle of the living room while your house mates are watching Narcos (who said yoga has to be calm?) and being able to make that decision and mix it up makes it all a lot less tedious.

You don't have to worry about other people 

I fret a bit around other people in the gym - call me daft but I get self-conscious that I might be doing something wrong or not working as hard as other people. Working out on my mobile, by myself, removes all of this extra and unnecessary stress that uses up so much valuable energy! 

It's just you and yourself. You'll get out as much hard work as you put in and with O2 and your mobile you can keep track of every single bit of progress you make along the way with absolute ease.

Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with O2.


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