It’s absolutely fine to look after those around us and to make sure that they are ok but we should also look after ourselves. For me a big part of self-care is exercise and keeping fit. The time I spend exercising is my “me” time, it allows me to be fully focussed on myself and do something that is good for me. As strange as it may sound regular exercise helps me to recharge my batteries, let out any stress and be a better mum, partner and friend.

I’m going to share with you 5 benefits of regular, moderate exercise. You don’t have to be going all out at a group class or spending hours on end in the gym, which is great at a time when those things aren’t possible. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3 – 4 times a week can bring about lots of benefits (but if all you can manage right now is 10 minutes twice a week then start there).

Reasons exercise is good for you

1. Natural increase in energy levels

We all assume that if we exercise we will be left feeling drained and tired but usually the opposite happens. You will be left feeling energised and ready to face the world. The less we do the less energy we tend to have, ever spent a weekend at home just sat in front of the TV and then found by the end of the day you are shattered??? I know I have, and whilst it is great to have that down time we need to be careful not to do it too often. I like to workout first thing in the morning whilst everyone else sleeps so that im set up for the day.

2. Improve your mood

Regular exercise can help to reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Exercise can encourage the release of endorphins – the bodies own happy pill –  and can also make the brain more susceptible to serotonin which is proved to reduce feelings of depression. Add in doing something that you enjoy for your exercise and you’re on a double winner.

3. Improve your overall fitness

Event short bursts of regular activity can have a positive impact on your overall level of fitness. Your cardiovascular fitness is probably the first thing that you will notice improve. It might be that you are no longer out of breath when you get to the top of the stairs or that you can chase the kids around for longer in your back garden or at the park. It’s also probably the first thing you will notice decline when you stop exercising. If I don’t run for a week or two I notice it in my breathing when I do manage to get out again.

4. Better quality of sleep

So if exercise can leave you feeling energised how can it also help you to sleep better? Being active can help your body to spend more time in deep sleep. Deep sleep is when you will be repairing and restoring. You may also find you sleep for longer periods of time.

5. Improve bone strength and protect against illness

Exercise helps the body to build strong bones and muscles through a process of breaking down and then re-building. Using weights whilst you exercise can help with muscle growth and higher impact exercise like running and jumping can help to increase bone density. As we get older we can suffer from muscle wastage and conditions such as osteoporosis so regular exercise can help you to combat these.

How to include exercise

You don’t need an expensive gym membership and you don’t need to dedicate hours on end every day to working out in order to see these benefits. Something simple that you enjoy and that you can be consistent with is all you need. This could be a short jog/run a couple of times a week, it could be going on bike rides with the kids, or it could be working out at home in your living room or garage – which is my personal favourite.

Hopefully I’ve managed to convince you that exercise is important in lots of different ways.

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