You are currently viewing Mental Health Five-a-day: Be active

Mental Health Five-a-day: Be active

Most times, when people hear about ‘Being active’ what comes to their mind is lifting bars in the gym and running on the treadmill. It might be a lot if a very busy person is asked to do this on daily basis. The essence of making a particular thing five-a-day is that they have to be done every single day as part of a daily lifestyle.  Also, they must be crucial in our daily need to be on our Five-a-day. The benefit of regular exercise goes beyond keeping fit. Exercise causes a chemical change in our brain. When this happens, a hormone called Endorphins is released. Endorphins interact with brain receptors that reduce a person’s perception of pain. It also acts like Morphine in that it produces the ‘’I feel good factor; it leaves one with a positive feeling.  This is to say, the more you exercise, the more frequently these hormones are released. The higher they are in your body, the less you respond to pain and the happier you feel overall. Are you in pain over the loss of a loved one, boost the release of the ‘’Feel good hormone’’ by exercising? Are you stressed from a broken relationship, boost your mood by exercising? Are you stressed out from job hunting, concerns about the future or family? Exercise clears your mind and sheds off the emotional weight.

You don’t have to go to the gym to stay active. Walking up and down the stairs more frequently gets the job done. Some people have adjusted their daily lifestyle to allow for some activities. Some examples are cycling to work in summer instead of getting the bus or driving; In cases where cycling is not possible because of the long distance to work, you could park some miles away from work and complete the rest of the journey on foot. Other ways could be taking a walk down to a restaurant outside work to buy lunch instead of buying food at work. You could also walk your dog in the evenings. Another could be waking up slightly early and taking a 30mins walk with your spouse or sibling before you take your morning shower. 

On Tuesday I took the bus to my church to sing. I realised the distance from where I work to the location of my church is one hour walk. I’d normally get the bus down for less than thirty minutes. Just recently I decided to to take trainers with me to work. I started walking down to the church on Tuesdays. Initially when I started, it felt stressful and too far to walk. Now, it feels like a stone throw. I now look forward to my long walk. I always take my headphone with me to listen to music or online seminars while I walk. 

No matter how busy your schedule might appear, if you analyse your day well enough, you will find a way of fitting in some form of physical activity. Yoga is one you can do at the comfort of your home if you fall under the category of people who do not like stepping outside to use the gym. All you need is a mat and clean corner in your house. A good way to motivate yourself with regards to exercise is to constantly remind yourself that a healthy body equals a healthy mind.

For more information, follow Nengi:                                                                                  Facebook – @NengiAnari,  Instagram – @Nengicity,  Twitter – @Nengi_benstowe

Leave a Reply