By Kelly Nicholas, Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement, Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine
It's well established that exercise is beneficial for physical, mental and social reasons. It's most likely why everyone has a completely different agenda for working out! Did you know that people who exercise regularly are more likely to classify themselves as 'happy' compared to those who don't? In fact, an American study of 2000 participants published just recently stated that not only were people who exercise regularly happier (75 percent vs. 25 percent), but they also report being more successful (74 percent vs. 26 percent). In terms of productivity - 63 percent of participants said they feel more energized for work after a morning workout and 47 percent say it puts them in a better headspace. (source https://nypost.com/2020/09/10/study-finds-that-people-who-work-out-are-happier-healthier-and-more-ambitious/)
So why all the data? Because Lou and I love the diversity of our Change It Up clients and the multi-faceted reasons why people train. We hate the idea of stigmatisms and promoting unrealistic body image expectations. We want to highlight that exercise doesn't have to be a chore and the reasons for you working out are varied and unique - just like you!
During the pandemic, many people have self-reflected and become more aware of their overall wellness. The above mentioned study stated that a massive 79% of participants were able to get a better grasp on their wellness and accordingly, 76% are making changes to improving their wellness. Were you able to recognise areas of your lifestyle that you may be able to make improvements in?
Here's some of the changes Americans are making:
Eating more healthy foods: 64 percent
Drinking more water: 58 percent
Getting the proper amount of sleep/having a consistent sleep schedule: 57 percent
Staying in touch with friends and family: 50 percent
Participating in continuing education classes: 28 percent
Taking community classes/workshops: 24 percent
Now the reason why I wanted to highlight these changes is because regular exercise can actually help participants achieve most of these routines. Regular exercise can help you to sleep better, may give you more energy and may also improve your overall wellness. It may introduce you to new people when exercising in a group environment, having a positive impact on social relationships. It may ward of depression and anxiety symptoms through the release of endorphins and seratonin, making you feel more optimistic. It may improve your self-confidence through feeling better about yourself. We could go on, but I'm sure you're getting the point - it helps many many many facets of your life! So have an open mind and embrace your own reasons for exercising because I guarantee you'll be happier!