Time to get physical for your mental health

If you experience anxiety, or have a tendency to worry excessively about anything and everything, you are not alone.


Rates of anxiety and depression in women are currently concerningly high for women in Australia.


A government-funded study conducted by Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, surveyed 10,000 Australian women aged 18 to 80 across a wide variety of physical and mental health topics.


The results determined that a massive 40 per cent of respondents had a diagnosed history of depression and/or anxiety, while many others have trouble sleeping and worry excessively about things.


But why are these numbers so high?


While there is no evidence for a direct link, there did seem to be a correlation between increased mental health concerns and decreased physical activity.  According to the report, more than 60 per cent of Australian women are not finding the time to fit in the 2.5 hours of required moderate physical activity per week. With our busy schedules, trying to balance work and families, it can make it seem impossible to pencil in some time for exercise.


However, it can be done! Here are a few ways to get a bit more activity in every day:


Take advantage of your lunch break

Whether you drop in for a quick gym session or take a nice walk around town, making an effort to move will up your level of physical activity for the day and can even help you concentrate better during the second half of your day. Plus, we all need a change of scenery every once in a while, so take the opportunity to get out of that office and refresh!


Work-out first thing in the morning

Hitting the gym, or working out isn’t everyone’s number one priority, but it should definitely be high on your list if you want to keep physically and mentally fit. By going first thing in the morning, you get it out of the way and you don’t risk the chance of being too tired after a long day at work. And, as an added bonus, by getting that sweat session in right after waking up, your metabolism will stay elevated for the day, helping you burn away the calories.


Get the kids involved

It doesn’t matter if they are humans or fur-babies, take the time to get out and play. It makes exercising more enjoyable for you, while promoting a healthier lifestyle for the kids as well. Plus, who doesn’t want to get a little bit of extra time to spend with the ones we love? It really is multi-tasking at its finest. Speaking of which…


Multi-task while watching that show

Let’s face it, we’ve all been known to partake in a Netflix binge or two. While we don’t promote doing so all the time, chances are it is going to happen to almost everyone every once in a while.  When you do decide to spend the night with your television, why not make the best of the binge? Instead of lounging on the couch or hiding under the covers, take the time to sneak in some body-weight exercises or even get up and clean the room you’re in. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy your current favourite show while still being productive and benefiting your health.


Take the stairs when possible

So many of us do it even though we know we shouldn’t. Take the cheeky trip on the lift up to the third floor – it may seem convenient, but it does nothing for your health! Do your best to avoid taking ‘the easy path’ and work those glutes up those stairs to your office.


Change Friday evening drinks to fitness classes with friends

Sometimes it can seem impossible to find the time to catch up with the girls. Maybe it is time to lock your squad in for a standing date by signing up for Pilates or Zumba classes – a fun way to catch up and get your sweat on.


Regardless of how you decide to get in that physical activity, make sure you are working at it regularly. You’ll feel better, and your mind and body will appreciate you for it.

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