We all know that regular physical exercise is great for the body, but what about the mind?  When it comes to mental resilience and wellbeing the benefits of exercise can’t be underestimated.

Regular exercise can have a positive impact on depression and anxiety, it can relieve stress, improve memory and help you sleep better.

Darren Goswell is a member of the Halcyon Life team of wellbeing experts.

Here he shares 7 ways to build mental resilience through physical exercise.

  1. Having a fitness target or goal to achieve outside of work enables you to take your mind away from other life stresses. It’s a great way to switch off from the stresses of the day.
  2. Improving your health through physical exercise creates a sense of success and fulfilment which can have a positive influence in other areas of life including work and family life. It gives you that ‘can do’ attitude.
  3. Even in small amounts, physical exercise can improve self confidence and self esteem which in turn gives us greater inner strength to approach difficult situations in work environments.
  4. Certain types of exercise increase the amount of endorphins our body produces which help relieve stress we may have built up at work or at home. These endorphins diminish the perception of pain by interacting with receptors in the brain. A result of this interaction produces a euphoric feeling, much like opiate medications.
  5. Regular exercise stimulates parts of the brain which are responsible for the release of certain chemicals which help improve our memory, concentration and mental sharpness. One of these chemicals is Norepinephrine. As more of this chemical flows into our blood stream, we become more alert and focused, it helps boost our memory so we become better at retrieving information stored in the brain. Immediately after exercise, the brain is better at accomplishing tasks and resisting distractions. Perhaps that 20 minute walk at lunch might not be a bad idea?
  6. Successful goal setting and exercise planning enables you to map out the best approach to overcome a problem, in this case how to achieve a greater level of fitness. You can’t run a marathon without working out a running programme.  It’s the same when it comes to larger projects at work.  They need breaking down into realistic, specific goals.  Learning to set realistic goals can enables us to flourish in other areas of our lives.
  7. Exercising in groups, such as classes or running clubs, helps us interact with like minded people and relieve work stresses. This enables us to become more interactive and confident in group settings.

About Halcyon Life Expert Darren Goswell.

Darren Goswell, Halcyon Life, Fitness Edge, Fitness blog, Wokingham, Berkshire, Henley, Thames Valley, Wellbeing Programme, Corporate Wellbeing Programme, expert, Henley Business School, mental resilience, Paul HeywoodDarren has worked in Health and Fitness for nearly 10 years as a Personal Trainer.  During this time he has trained many different types of people from beginners to professional sportsmen. Whilst working he studied for a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and then an MSc in Sport and Exercise Physiology. The combination of these two has allowed Darren to develop new training methods and with the practical experience gained through his numerous clients he has developed his own approach to training people. Darren takes a scientific approach to personal training, working collaboratively with his clients to create realistic, beneficial and measured training plans to suit the lifestyle of each individual. He takes a highly tailored approach to exercise prescription, ensuring that each programme is safe and sustainable allowing his clients to achieve their targets on a regular basis.