With the new year upon us it’s time to start thinking of resolutions. You may have all kinds of hopes and aspirations for the coming year but one promise that everyone hopes to keep is an oath to take better care of ourselves. It probably seems a little cliché at this point because most people know that we need to stay physically healthy, but the truth is that by looking after our bodies we are also taking care of our minds too! So, to get you motivated to take on 2022 (and of course the long term afterwards), here are five ways that a healthy body can lead to a healthy mind.
5 ways our physical health can improve our mind
Let’s start with something we all love: sleep. We know how important it is to get enough sleep at night and there are habitual changes we can make to improve our sleep (like turning off electronics at night or setting a consistent bedtime).
But what we may not realise is just how much a healthy body can improve our sleep. For example, doing some gentle cardio exercise during the day, like jogging or walking, can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep. And as your sleeping improves, you’ll soon see a number of benefits for your physical and mental health.
One of the most common types of pain people often complain about is headaches. With so much of our lives spent in front of screens, sitting down or generally hunched over, it’s no wonder the problem is so widespread. But once you bring even basic activity into your life to support your flexibility like yoga, you’ll quickly notice that those common headaches start to vanish.
Improve your mood
Sometimes even little things can set us off and ruin our mood. Whether it’s bad news, annoying neighbours or even our partners. Fortunately, the chemicals in our brains that cause us to be annoyed can be easily remedied. Physical exercise like running, team sports and even pilates, can flood our brain with endorphins that can put us in a great mood for the rest of the day.
When we are stressed, it can be tough to get anything done. It leaves us distracted, tired and irritable. That’s why flowing, low impact exercises like Tai Chi are so popular. You don’t need strength or endurance yet the movements can have a remarkable effect on our stress levels.
Getting distracted is a very easy trap to fall into. One minute you’re getting jobs done and the next second you’re thinking about the news alert popping up on your phone. Fortunately, this is another area where your physical body can complement your mind. Physical activities like dance and aerobics will boost the body’s production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which are key to the healthy regulation of your focus.
How taking care of our minds can improve our physical health
Interestingly, our mental health can also affect our physical body just as well as the reverse. Taking the steps to soothe and nurture our minds can have a dramatic effect on our physical fitness and overall health.
Getting involved in simple but rewarding activities like meditation, creative pursuits like writing and even crafts like crochet can have a profound impact on your state of mind. This in turn can provide a plethora of health benefits like lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and improving your general mood.
Hopefully, you’ve now got a better idea of how our physical body can affect our mental one. And with this new knowledge at hand, you have all the motivation you need to make this year’s resolutions the ones that stick. The important thing to remember is no matter what step of the journey you’re on, taking the steps to improving your physical fitness doesn’t have to be extreme or overbearing.
Ready to get started?
Online clubs and groups are a great way to kickstart some healthier habits, for both body and mind. At The Joy Club – an online activity club for people who enjoy keeping busy – you’ll find all of the activities listed in this article and more, plus daily reads for those looking for inspiration of the more relaxed kind. Premium membership costs just £5 per month and all new members get a one-month, no obligation free trial.
Interested? Click here to find out more and sign up for free today!