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  • Ben

Pillar 4 - Exercise

Finally, we come to pillar 4 – exercise. Exercise has endless physical and mental benefits and I cannot recommend it highly enough. A statement that I absolutely can’t stand is “I don’t like exercise” because to me it’s like someone who doesn’t like cheese saying “I don’t like food”. The title of exercise encompasses literally thousands of options from gentle options such as walking, Pilates and Yoga to more high intensity styles such a powerlifting, sprinting, boxing and martial arts then there’s the adventure category including rock climbing, mountain biking, mountain running and sailing to name but a few. There are so many variations of exercise that saying you don’t like exercise I would argue is likely a tad premature since if you gave absolutely all of the variations a go I’m sure you will find something enjoyable!

Okay so I’ve done my little sales pitch of how great exercise is and how many variations of it there are but just in case you’re still not convinced let’s look at some actual scientific benefits:

Physical benefits:

· Better weight management

· Reduced risk of heart attack

· Stronger muscles, bones and joints

· Reduced risk of osteoporosis

· Lower blood cholesterol

· Lower blood pressure

· Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

· Lower risk of some cancers

· Can help with energy levels (yeah that’s right exercising can actually give you more energy)

· Helps with skin health and can delay ageing process of the skin

Mental benefits:

· Can help increase relaxation

· Can help improve sleep quality

· Can help brain health – exercise has been shown to reduce changes in the brain that can cause Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia

· Exercise makes you feel happier – exercise has been shown to help improve mood and help ease feelings of anxiety and depression

Some tips to help you get going with the exercise:

· Find something which you enjoy

· Try exercising with a friend

· Set exact days and times when you will exercise this makes it easier to plan and also harder to back out of

· Make sure the exercise is suitable for you, if you have a bad knee which has caused you trouble for years then running likely will just make this problem worse, but swimming may be the perfect solution, when it comes to choosing the form of exercise remember it must be specific to you!

· Set goals, this will help you to stay focused and work towards something, it will also help you to monitor your progress

So to conclude, exercise has so many benefits for both your physical and mental health that it is definitely something which we should all be doing. With that said, it doesn’t mean we all have to do that same exercise. We are all different, have different interests, strengths, goals and lifestyles so we should all chose which exercise style works best for us! Additionally, I think it is an important point that we need to remember that we don’t actually have to chose. You could do some running some weight lifting and some yoga. In my opinion this is the best approach since it allows you to get the best of all of each of the different styles of exercise and you will quickly find that many of them overlap and help benefit each other.

As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a message!

Next week’s topic – Mindset

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