According to Beyond Blue, 1 in 7 Australians experience anxiety at any given time. Pair that with the fact that it is not uncommon for people to feel a bit lower in winter, with many Aussies reportedly being affected by seasonal affective disorder (or SAD disorder) and you can see why it makes sense to have a game plan when it comes to managing your mental health.
According to a report by ncbi, exercise may improve your mental health by reducing anxiety, depression,increasing self-esteem and cognitive function. It can also help to improve sleep, stress relief, endurance, mood, energy and stamina just to name a few of the many reasons why exercise is so great for us.
So how can you keep yourself accountable and motivated in the winter months when we need it the most? Here are some tips.
Find something you enjoy, or can learn to enjoy
The truth is, if you come from a background of doing no exercise, it will be a little hard at the start. You will be sore, you may be a little tired after the first few sessions, but it is important to push through because it only take a few weeks for your body to adjust and start feeling great and energised from all the endorphins that it will release.
So find something that you can learn to enjoy and give it a chance. Be it brisk walking, running, yoga, pilates, HIIT, strength.
Make it convenient
If you know you keep a random timetable, try to find an online program that you can do from home, or a studio or gym that is near your house or work that offers times that may work for you. If you choose to train somewhere that doesn’t have a timetable that suits your needs or is too far away, odds are you won’t turn up and you will just end up frustrated with your lack of commitment.
Sign up to an event for accountability
They say it takes around 3 weeks to build a healthy habit and they are not wrong! That’s why signing up to an event is a great way to hold yourself accountable, as you have a date that you have to be ready by. The Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K/5K is a great option as the event has a certified flat course meaning that it is family friendly so you can bring the team with you from home. They even have a virtual event for those who can’t make it to Sydney that want to get involved.
The great thing about running events is that they have such a great atmosphere that whether you participate solo or with family or with friends so it really gives you something to look forward too which is great for motivation.
Get your family involved
The good thing about events such as the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K/5K is that is is really family friendly. You can run and walk it with kids, you can jog with a pram, you can make it work for you. No need to use the kids and family as an excuse, events like these are tailored to be inclusive so why not get the family involved.
The main thing is, that exercise should be something that enriches your life and makes you happy. Once you are in the habit of doing it, you will start to enjoy the benefits.