The end of summer is a misery for many of us – because we’ve just come back from holiday, we’ve put on a few pounds and it’s time to start whinging about going back to school.
We may have also over-indulged on alcohol, which we know is never good for our bodies or our fitness.
It’s also the most popular season for couples to split or take time out from each other. As a result, many people feel uncomfortable, anxious or depressed.
Bodybuilding.com, the world’s largest online fitness community, knows that once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.
Research has shown that regular exercise offsets the harms of alcohol including cancer and heart disease. It found that adults who drink regularly but do an hour’s physical activity a day are no more likely to die than teetotallers.
Experts say exercise counteracts many of the harmful processes which occur in the body after drinking alcohol. These include inflammation of the cells and a rise in certain hormone levels, which trigger cancer and other illnesses.
Research on anxiety, depression and exercise also demonstrates that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve your general mood.
The links between anxiety, depression and exercise aren’t entirely clear — but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of anxiety or depression and make you feel better.
Regular exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which can include:
- Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids)
- Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
- Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects
Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:
- Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance, especially after an over-indulgent holiday time
- Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression
- Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your feel good factor
- Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy
The word “exercise” may make you think of running laps around the gym. But exercise includes a wide range of activities that boost your activity level to help you feel better.
Certainly running, lifting weights and other fitness activities that get your heart pumping can help. But so can physical activity such as gardening, washing your car, walking around the block or engaging in other less intense activities. Any physical activity that gets you off the couch and moving can help improve your mood.
You don’t have to do all your exercise or other physical activity at once. Broaden how you think of exercise and find ways to add small amounts of physical activity throughout your day.
For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little farther away from work to fit in a short walk. Or, if you live close to your job, consider biking to work.
Bodybuilding.com, experts in managing personal exercise and diet programmes, is designed to inspire you to enjoy and improve your fitness levels. Just a brisk walk or
work-out can add extra years to your life and scientists have discovered that a 20-25 minute walk every day can help prevent you from dying prematurely.
Andrew Ivers, Senior Marketing Manager at Bodybuilding.com says: “Our world-leading expert team are ideally placed to advise on the best routine for each
individual. Managing the diet is also very important and our nutritionists tailor programmes, depending on weight loss and maintenance goals.”
Susan, a mother of two in her 40’s says: “It’s so important to get the post-holiday family mood right because everyone feels unsettled. I really like the idea of a tailored fitness and diet regime because it works for me and also my husband and is already making a difference. I know that my kids have noticed too!”
Expert Advice, Guidance and Support? Visit bodybuilding.com. As the world’s largest online fitness network, there is simply no equivalent. Bodybuilding.com is home to thousands of first class articles and interactive fitness tutorials from some of the world’s top athletes, trainers and nutritionsts, which users can download and use absolutely free
Bodyspace, an app within the bodybuilding.com community, is especially supportive, with its online forums and community networks – ideal for discovering new ways to help your fitness levels and encouraging each person to keep going!