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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.