On Your Feet Britain!
Take part in the national On your Feet Britain day when workers across Britain unite together and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work on Thursday 29th April 2021.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should get moving for more than just the way you look.
Exercise is good for you
Of course, it is. We hear it all the time, but why exactly? Whatever your motivation is to keep moving, whether it’s the healthy ‘glow’ after a gym class, the number on the scales or approval from your GP! It’s a universal thumbs up that exercise does wonders for both your physical and mental health, and we should be aiming to achieve approximately 150 minutes of physical exercise per week. Nevertheless, this can be a difficult message to sell if you have no compulsion to pull on your trainers and hit the ground running. But since the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, this has really hit home for a lot of people.
Feel Good Factor!
Aside from the physical benefits, when we exercise, incredible things happen in our brain. A cocktail of ‘feel good’ chemicals and hormones, including endorphins and endocannabinoids, is released. These help to regulate bodily functions, including sleep and appetite. Try to think of this kind of cocktail as our body’s natural anti-depressants, proven by research in helping to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
If you’re suffering from low moods or depression, simply moving your muscles enables greater oxygen flow around the body. In doing this, your attention shifts away from whatever issue is bothering you, your cortisol (stress hormone) levels drop, and endorphins are produced = improved mood!
The happy hormone (endorphin) is made up of 2 words (Endogenous Morphine), like the drug used for severe pain relief. Endorphins work in the same way as they block pain perception and create a sensation of pleasure and a happier mood. So what’s stopping you?
Tailor your exercise to what your mind needs
- For motivation and support – try a charity fun run, Couch 2 5k group, or a fitness app/programme.
- For a boost in confidence – Try running, swimming, cross-training or cycling. Alone or with friends!
- Stress-busting – To feel more zen, try swimming, yoga, meditation, pilates or tai chi.
- Anxiety – Team sports like football and netball are good options.
- Irritability and sleep problems, try boxing, dancing or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training).
“Get up offa that thing”
The ‘On Your Feet Britain’ Challenge dares you to take James Brown at his word and convert ‘sitting time’ to ‘standing time’. Follow some simple changes – it really is easier than you think! Here are some of their tips:
- Stand up during phone calls.
- Stand and take a break from your computer every 30 minutes.
- Use the stairs.
- Have standing or walking meetings.
- Eat your lunch away from your desk.
- Walk to your colleague’s desk instead of phoning or emailing them.
- Stand at the back of the room during presentations.
So, whether it’s a walk in the great outdoors, a swim or even a shopping trip or spot of housework – physical activities do wonders for your headspace as well as your heart.
There is a list of activities and challenges on the on your feet website to try on the day and going forward, go on have a go!
I hope this motivates you to get on your feet!
Don’t forget to check out my blog here: https://loutritionist.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/exercise-and-natural-highs/