Exercise, endorphins and early morning alarms.

Go Vita Ballarat staff member and Naturopath Michelle, is into week 4 of her Spring Health Reboot. (You can read about her journey so far here). This week, she explains how important exercise is for her overall wellbeing.


"I really enjoy exercise. At different stages of my life, I have exercised regularly and vigorously. But I have also had other periods of not exercising at all. In more recent years, work and the constant running around after kids has meant that making the time for me to go for a jog, a walk or lifting some weights just hasn’t been high on the priority list.

But I know that when I am not exercising regularly, my mood is really affected.

Exercise produces the happy hormones: endorphins. Endorphins reduce stress and increase positive thoughts and feelings. I certainly know (and so does my family!) when I haven’t exercised in a while because I lose my patience more easily, I’m not as calm and my self-confidence can get quite low.


When I decided it was time to reboot my health, I wanted to ensure that regular exercise was incorporated into my week; for my mental and physical health. But as many people know, getting back into a regular exercise routine can be easier said than done.


Logically and energetically, early mornings are the best time for me to exercise, however getting out of bed when that alarm goes off has required some serious will power. Focusing on the four mantras I set at the start of this reboot has also helped me kick off the doona and get into the active wear!

STAY STRONG
REMAIN FOCUSED
REMEMBER MY END GOAL
EVERY DAY COUNTS

Even though I have always been reasonably active, returning to exercise has been tough, physically and mentally. My fitness wasn’t where I wanted it to be and I struggled through things I thought I would just bounce back into. But I am pleased to say that four weeks on, I am definitely starting to feel much fitter and happier and that is motivating me to kick off the doona as soon as the alarm buzzes.


When I find it hard to get out of bed, I remind myself how good fit feels (like when I did a half marathon a few years ago)

I have been mixing up my exercise with:

- A run three times a week (and I’m feeling really pleased that I am back to running 5-6km comfortably – a personal goal of mine!)

- Doing fitness classes with Naomi at In Your Element that incorporates cardio, strength, boxing and HIIT workouts

- Doing a Personal Training session with Naomi, focusing particularly on resistance training

- Doing some lower intensity and relaxing activities like walking (soaking up some Vitamin D!)


I've made it a priority to get into group fitness classes and personal training


If you are thinking about getting back into, or starting some regular exercise my advice would be:

- Accept that it could be really challenging for the first few weeks. But, as you get fitter it will get easier

- Make exercise for yourself a priority – you’ll be able to cope with other aspects of life much more easily if you’re dosed up on natural endorphins!

- Find a time that is the most convenient for you to exercise, and prioritise it

- Be mindful when you start “inventing” excuses

- Set yourself some challenges to help improve your fitness and keep motivated

- Find a friend to run, walk and/or go to classes with you. If you have to meet someone, It will make you more accountable.

- Do exercises that you actually enjoy (I know people absolutely love Spin classes, but that is a big no for me!)

I’d love to hear about where you’re at with your exercise – what do you love? What do you find challenging? How are you motivating yourself?"

Michelle.

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