Now that we are all back in lockdown here in the UK, we wanted to share with you the importance of using exercise as a tool to maintain good mental health and overall well-being.
We already know of the physical benefits of regular exercise; improved physique, weight maintenance and increased energy but what are the short and long-term mental benefits of regular exercise?
We’re all familiar those chirpy regulars in our gym classes who seem to live for the challenge of more burpees and are always far too happy for 6 am. Why is it that those fitness fanatics are always bouncing around with a smile on their face even though they should be exhausted given the amount the exercise? Exercise has actually been shown to improve our energy, cognition, mood and self-esteem.
Firstly, exercise can have a huge positive impact on our sleep quality. It only takes 30 minutes of moderate exercise to help you have a better snooze, with research demonstrating that patient complaints of insomnia went down overall once participants started to engage in daily exercise.
If you’ve ever had a big day travelling or playing sport in the sunshine, you’ll know the feeling of hitting the bed and falling straight asleep! You don’t need to be doing vigorous activity to reap the rewards either, walking or running counts too!
Exercise helps us to burn energy which helps our body to get a better night’s sleep and get rid of the lethargy that can come about if we are sitting or stuck inside all day.
Anxiety and Depression
Exercise has also been researched into relation to its positive effect of reducing anxiety and mild depression. A Harvard T.H Chan School of public health cited that 15 minutes of walking or running per day can has been shown to reduce the risk of developing major depression by 26%.
For those who have previously suffered with depression and anxiety, it showed that regular exercise can prevent patients from relapsing in the future.
It’s a result of the chemical changes occurring in our brain when we exercise. This neural activity helps to reduced inflammation, contribute to feelings of calmness, and stimulate neural growth.
Furthermore, endorphins are released which creates a powerful chemical reaction that develops a sort of “high” in the body after lengthy or vigorous exercise. This is often known as the ‘runners high’.
Endorphins work similarly to opioids (a type of drug prescribed for pain), in the way they help to reduce pain and can produce a euphoric feeling. That also explains why people who are regular gym goers seem so happy all the time.
Increased Self-esteem and reduced stress
Exercise helps to challenge us to push our physical and mental limits. From lifting heavier weights, increasing endurance and learning new skills, it really assists in building confidence.
Whether it’s finally being able to do a headstand at yoga or simply beating your pace and your morning walk, we all feel good when we improve.
When we exercise, we are actually putting our body in a mild state of stress, however it’s a type of stress that’s good for our bodies to endure. Putting ourselves under the stress of exercise actually helps our body to overcome future forms of negative stress more effectively.
The neurohormones produced in our brain after exercise then help to put us in a better mood, reduce feelings of stress (the bad kind) and even improve our cognitive ability. Sounds good to us!
How can Bondi coffee help you hit that 30 minutes a day?
Coffee has been linked with increase performance, focus and has been shown to reduce our perceived level of exertion during a workout.
The caffeine and Guarana from Bondi Coffee Workout Booster Blend, our pre- workout sachet, will help to give you that extra push your body sometimes needs to kick into gear.
As caffeine is a stimulant, it contributes to feelings of alertness and has even been linked to helping reduce post-workout soreness! Plus, Workout Booster contains 9 different performance enhancing and recovery assisting ingredients, such as BCAAs, MCTs, Beta Alanine and a massive 2000% of your daily vitamin B12 recommendations.
With all the mental benefits exercise has to offer, we would be crazy not to strive to do a little bit every day.
Find something you enjoy and can stick to and remember to have your Bondi Coffee blends handy for your pre-workout caffeine hit.
When you don’t feel like doing a home workout or going outside for a walk, just try and remember the short- and long-term mental benefits that exercise has on our minds and remember it only needs to be a quick 30 minutes!