The Importance Of Exercise……..
Fitness is crucial in more ways than you think. It can be broken down into two components; physical fitness and mental fitness.
A common misconception is that for you to be fit you only have to concentrate on your body. However, peak fitness is only achieved when your mind and body are both performing at their maximum.
Physical fitness grabs all the headlines, and for very good reason, as it results in stronger bones, muscles and joints, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers and reduces the risk of heart attacks. But mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness, and shouldn’t be neglected. Mental fitness means keeping your brain and emotional health in the best shape possible.
Exercising and becoming physically fit first and foremost requires a change in your mindset and lifestyle. I understand incorporating regular exercise and a balanced diet (notice how I said a balanced diet, not a healthy diet as I don’t agree with going cold turkey on your favourite foods) isn’t going to be easy for everyone. Once you make a conscious decision to lower your consumption of junk food, fizzy drinks, and bad habits like smoking and alcohol, plus ensure you’re having at least seven hours of sleep, only then will be able to become physically and mentally fit.
Regular exercise through playing football has been a big part of my life since the age of five allowing me to take my fitness to the next level. As a result, for years I have taken the importance of exercise for granted. I have been programmed from young to always be active and eliminate negative foods from my life, no matter how temporarily, allowing my body to detox and become stronger. For those who haven’t had that luxury my advice would be to create a lifestyle and an environment that involves some activity. Spend more time outdoors in the sun (when it makes an appearance), and fresh air.
Try walking to the second closest bus stop on the way to work, when your kids are restless don’t just hand them an iPad; if you can, go to the park and play football with them or just walk around while you watch them run around. These are just two easy lifestyle changes that can be implemented to help you get physically fit. Trust me, over time you will see the benefits of making these slight changes. Then you will become a true believer in the importance of exercise.
Mental fitness, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. You don’t want your mind to be constantly active and on the go. Slowing your mind down is the best way to improve your mental health. Sleep, yoga, meditation, reading are all great for your mental fitness and are proven to manage stress and combat mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
“Any type of exercise is useful, as long as it suits you and you do enough of it,” says Dr Alan Cohen, a GP with a special interest in mental health. “Exercise should be something you enjoy; otherwise, it will be hard to find the motivation to do it regularly.”
I’ve found that thinking optimistically has increased my overall physical and mental wellbeing. Now I’m no pro at this and I have to admit that some days are better than others but reminding myself that I am not searching for perfection really helps. Set realistic goals for what you want to improve and start small to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Your mental fitness shouldn’t be neglected at all on your fitness journey, there is no point looking great externally if internally you feel like absolute crap. As I already mentioned, peak fitness can only be achieved with a change in your mindset.
Your mind leads and your body will follow.
Understanding the importance of exercise and fitness is the first step to achieving peak fitness. You deserve to be the best version of yourself mentally as well as physically.
I hope this helps you understand the importance of exercise.