Why Exercise is so Important – A Different Approach

Exercise Benefits

There is much focus today on why is exercise important – For that of improving our physical health, with the current obesity epidemic and increase in health problems such as type 2 Diabetes it is all the more important for people to become aware of why they need to exercise regularly and the benefits of doing so.

Throughout my time as health and fitness coach I have seen many people motivated to improve their health with exercise by their physical needs/ desires. Either they want to improve how they look or they have been forced to take notice of their health through a difficult health experience which has motivated them to do so.

When someone has a bad experience with their health, or their doctor tells them that they need to do something otherwise their health could deteriorate dramatically this of course is very powerful and usually enough to motivate them in to changing the habits of a lifetime.

However my desire is that people don’t have to wait for something awful to happen before they become motivated to improve their health. In addition the first common motivator that people have to improve their appearance is often not enough of motivation to be able to sustain the habit. It can be a good one, but then when immediate results are not seen or not as quick as a person would like then they become unmotivated and often give up, to then go on to repeat the cycle perhaps the next year.

I choose to take a different approach because I know that exercise is much more than just the physical benefits and that this is too often not enough to motivate someone to exercise regularly. The great thing is that when you begin to exercise you will notice immediate benefits in terms of improvement in your psychological wellbeing. You will feel more positive and energised from your first workout and this benefit will always be there for as long as you continue to exercise.

Regular exercise promotes an inner change as well as an outer change but it is always the inner change of feeling good from your workout that will come first. So if you do struggle with motivation or are motivated by purely physical ideals, I put it to you to try something different and use the the psychological/emotional benefits as your motivating force and see if you notice a difference in your desire to exercise. How many of you want to feel better or happier now? Exercising is a sure way to increase this state no matter what your situation.

As a reminder and an outline, here are some of the main psychological/ emotional benefits you can experience from your very first workout;

  • Increased energy
  • Improved Mood
  • Feeling of Wellbeing
  • Increased self – esteem
  • Increased self confidence
  • Feelings of enthusiasm
  • Feelings of accomplishment – leading to increased self development and motivation.
  • Feelings of courage and determination- increased ability to persevere and overcome obstacles
  • Focus
  • More productivity in your day
  • Increase in Concentration and improved memory
  • Improved self belief and confidence
  • Relief of stress and tension

These are some of the many benefits you will receive from exercise and when you continue to exercise regularly these benefits will increase and the physical benefits will follow. In my opinion these psychological/emotional benefits are equally as important as the physical benefits and far more motivating because they are there instantly and they continue to increase. So it is an immediate and constant reward system if you choose to focus on it.

With these immediate improvements you can notice an improvement in your relationships due to improved mood and self confidence, an improvement in your productivity at work or in study amongst others. These results alone are important enough reasons for you to exercise and you will notice this very quickly.

If you are motivated well by physical outcomes then of course this is good and use this to continue if it works well for you.

But if when your next thinking about going to the gym or doing any form of exercise and you are struggling to feel motivated, try to think about it differently in terms of these emotional reasons and benefits you will obtain from it, and see if this helps, don’t wait until your doctor tells you or your scared or feel pressured in to going.

Take action now and you will FEEL better for it guaranteed. We need to take more responsibility for our own health and wellbeing and better to do so before waiting until our bodies are telling us to do so through the symptoms of ill health and non- activity. Try a different approach.

 

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‘It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.~ Cicero

Chronic Pain Management

chronic pain 2 chronic pain brain

Chronic Pain can be a very frustrating and debilitating condition to manage so I would like to share with you some of the methods I have learnt through personal and professional practice on how best to manage it. It is my hope that anyone who struggles with this may find some of these methods helpful because I know how frustrating this problem can be when it is severe.

Firstly I’d like to identify that there are different types of pain; the type I am referring to here mainly is chronic muscle pain<land fatigue, as I know this can be very difficult to manage and also frustrating when you feel that it is limiting your life.

Although I am referring more to chronic muscle pain and fatigue in this post, much of these methods will also be of help for more short term muscle pain such as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is experienced after heavy gym sessions. The reason for this is these methods will help to speed up the recovery process. It will also be helpful for some other types of chronic pain.

In terms of pain it is very important to identify the role of our perception. All people have different pain thresholds and so will have different coping degrees. However you can also learn to raise your pain threshold through re-focussing your mind. For example when you are focusing on the pain itself it will feel far more painful than if you direct your focus elsewhere.

Stress can also be a major contributor to the perception of pain; this is another reason to take your focus off the pain. If you know that the pain you experience is chronic then, other than painkillers, much of how you perceive it is under your control. This can either be scary or empowering once you have the necessary tools. Our minds respond to pain as a warning sign as this is what it often signifies in the short–term.

To clarify my point here

– The main thing you can do to help yourself once you know this pain is chronic, is focus your mind on something else. All the following techniques I will give you will be an addition to this.

Coping Methods

First things first, Eat Well, this is so important I cannot emphasise it enough. The main priorities here are that you need a good balance of food to meet all your nutritional requirements ensuring you are getting enough protein (for muscle growthand repair). Wholegrain carbohydrates (for sustained energy release) and a variety of fruit and vegetables(for micronutrient needs). It is also highly important that you eat regularly so that your metabolism runs effectively. Little & often is best if you can – around every 3-4 hours.

Stretching/ Yoga – This is very important and very helpful when you have muscle pain. By stretching properly you will help to release the tension and that has built up in your muscles and is causing you more pain and fatigue. You only need to do a stretching session for 10 – 15minutes to obtain benefits. Yoga and stretching will also help you to relax and take your mind off the pain.

Meditation
Although it can be difficult to re-direct your attention when you are in pain. This is very powerful and will benefit your life in every way by allowing you to focus better on the task at hand and be mindful wherever you are. You do not have to meditate for long, just 5 minutes can be helpful. There are lots of different meditation techniques but essentially what you are doing is directing your focus on to one thing (that is not the pain), such as your breath, and allowing all thoughts and distractions to pass by. This will bring you in to a state of peace which can be very blissful and a welcome relief from any form of pain. If you are unsure of which method to use then please contact me and I will happily help you with this.

Massage/ Heat – As with stretching this method will also help to relax your muscles and release toxins. The added benefit here however is it requires no effort on your part other than getting there. Massages can be wonderfully relaxing & therapeutic and are not just for pampering as some may think. If you make it a regular thing such as once a month I am certain you would notice a difference. By heat I mean either using a sauna or having a hot bath – these methods alone will help to release built up tension and toxins. In addition something I would highly recommend that is natural and extremely effective is Epsom salts – You add these to a hot bath and you will almost instantly feel the tension release.

Other methods
The above methods I would say are the main methods for you to try, However below are some methods that are also useful that you may want to try;

Swimming moderately ( 20-30 minutes is adequate )

Positive thinking and visualisation

Acupuncture

Social support

Laughter (The best medicine as they say:)

Writing/Art – (this helps you to process your thoughts and feelings)

Understanding your limitations and using necessary tools i.e. A Journal, time management.

Qigong / Tai Chi.

Adequate Rest & prescribed exercise.

EFT– Emotional Freedom Technique.

I hope you have found this blog post helpful. If you require any further help or advice then please do not hesitate to contact me via email/phone. Much of the above has come through my knowledge of holistic health and fitness and through personal experience. If you are unsure in anyway of the causes of the chronic pain you are experiencing, then please consult a medical practitioner.

‘Those who have the greatest struggles have the greatest strength.’

Benefits of regular exercise

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  • Reduces body fat percentage
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Improve your mood
  • Builds muscle
  • Weight control
  • Increase your energy
  • Improve your sleep
  • Improves your  immune system
  • Improves self-confidence
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Improve your  joint mobility

Get all these benefits and more with

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Contact Tel: 07515647651

Email: mirala.health@gmail.com