A study performed by the American Cancer Society found that men that sat for more than 6 hours per day have a 20% higher overall death rate compared to men who sit for three hours or less. For women, it showed a 40% higher death rate.
Lack of physical activity ranks 5th in terms of risk factors for death in the United States and 6th in terms of risk factors for disability. Research has shown that every additional hour spent watching television per day may be associated with an 11% increased risk of death. Lack of exercise also negatively influences mental health by increasing the risk of anxiety, depression, and lower levels of emotional well-being.
Did you know, simply moving more at least 3 days a week can substantially reduce your risk of mental decline and memory issues?
Countless studies have shown a positive link between exercise and mental well-being. From helping your body release, feel-good endorphins to building up self-confidence, engaging in physical activity can do wonders for your mood. Research on anxiety, depression, and exercise shows that exercise's psychological and physical benefits can improve your mood and reduce stress. This happens for a few reasons:
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and other chemicals that make you feel good.
Regular exercise improves brain plasticity and cognition, which helps to create new healthy nerve cells and improves memory.
Spending any amount of time focusing on the present moment (like those donkey kicks you're doing on your bedroom floor) will help you break the cycle of worrying about the past or future and benefit your mental health.
Meeting exercise goals (even small ones) can help boost your confidence levels. On top of that, if you physically see your body changing into a more potent form, you'll feel better about that too!
Finding an outlet to move your body allows you to cope with stress healthily and productively. This means that the next time you're feeling stressed or angry, try to muster up the energy for a quick HIIT workout instead of reaching for a glass of wine or dwelling on your emotions.
Recent evidence shows that exercise improves brain plasticity, memory, learning and cognition through the upregulation of brain derived neurotrophin factor.
If you're spending zero minutes of your week focused on moving your body, any movement for even 10-15 minutes a day will help you feel better. Once you start getting the hang of it, shoot for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for 3-5 days a week, and you're likely to experience significant improvement in your mental state.
Exercise is beneficial against various neurodegenerative and behavoral disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD.
Do This Exercise With Me
I want to challenge you to do this simple exercise right now to get you moving - squats! Squats help strengthen the legs, knees, and glutes, but doing this can also help you release emotional and mental tension that gets trapped in the hips.
Assignment: Complete 10 slow and controlled bodyweight squats, as shown in the video, and let me know how you feel! You can do this anywhere -- outside, in the living room, or even in the office. If you need extra support, grab a chair.
Bodyweight Squats (Chair Assisted)
Goal: 10 reps
1. Stand in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart.
2. Slowly lower your butt toward the chair without sitting down.
3. Stand back up and then repeat for 60 seconds.
Check out the video below for a step-by-step demonstration.
Modification 1: Place your arms in front of you may help your balance.
Modification 2: Keep the chair in front of you to have something to hold onto while squatting down.
Modification 3: If the chair is behind you, squat down onto the chair for one second and back up.
Comment below how you feel afterward!
Get Active With Support
If you're living with a mental health issue like anxiety or depression, it can feel impossible to scoop yourself up and hit the road for a jog or get yourself into the right workout clothes to move around. If these are issues you're facing, don't be afraid to ask for help, and we can work together to find a routine and create goals that you'll be excited about maintaining!
Get access to exercises like the one above and start feeling more energetic, confident, and better about yourself with the Introduction to Exercise Program. You will get everything you need to implement exercise in your everyday life!
Join the program by clicking the button below!