Keeping fit is essential for my own mental health. Experts agree – exercise can mediate the effects of anxiety, depression and improve one’s ability to cope with everyday stress. I know that regular exercise (specifically running in my case) has had a huge positive impact on my own mental health.
I feel as though from my early 20’s it has always been important for me to do some physical activity 2-3 times a week. I signed up for my first London marathon in 2013 and then again in 2016, where running was a huge part of my life. I learned to love the way running pushes me to go further than I thought I could, the mental strength it requires to keep going when every part of my body says to give up and the happy exhaustion after completing a run.
Believe me I’m no running expert and there is no right or wrong on how you do things. However, I’m sharing with you my own tips on how I get through a run whilst enjoying it..
- Gather your kit. If you feel banging in your new workout gear, then you’ll want to show them off. Do your research and make sure you feel comfortable in your new purchases. Sweaty Betty gear always makes me feel great and it gives me that extra push when I’m running if I feel and look good.
- Go with a mate. It’s great if you’ve got someone to workout with. You can have a laugh and you’re less likely to cancel because it messes up the other person’s plans.
- Create a good playlist/Listen to a podcast. I love music and there’s nothing like the perfect playlist to get you through when you’re starting to feel weak and it gives you the bolt of energy you may need. Recently, I’ve started to listen to podcasts whilst I run, I find them inspirational and if I’m not feeling music then I’d recommend downloading your fav podcast.
- Set goals. There’s no right or wrong here, however I find having something to focus on or train for helps me. Sign up to that 5k or 10k. It’s great to have something to work towards and it also can help with motivation. I’ve just signed up to a 10k in November.
- Start slow. Don’t start off your run too quickly, it’s all about pace. It’s important to ease yourself into running and make sure to pace yourself. When I was training for the marathon or a race I would increase my mileage by 0.5-1k over each run.
- Enjoy it/Keep it fun. Lastly just make sure you try and enjoy it. It might take a couple of week’s but when you find something that you really enjoy, working out is no longer a gruelling task. I also know not everyone is going to enjoy running, however give it a shot and see.
I’d love to know what physical activity you do?