Exercise is so much more than just looking after our bodies physically. It can be social in a group training session, solitary time to yourself on a long run and exhilarating in a competitive or adventurous environment. All of these points share one common outcome – exercise is AMAZING for our mental health

I often say to clients that I could rattle off hundreds of times I’ve dragged myself to a training session without sleep or feeling bloated or having difficulties at work or in relationships – you get the idea. But I can count on three fingers, the few times that I have not felt better after a workout.

Many people have no idea or have not experienced first hand, how beneficial exercise is to your mental health. And unfortunately, the many reasons, (some listed above) that people are using for NOT getting to their training sessions, are the actual reasons that they should be getting there!

Yes exercise is good for the heart, helps strengthen your bones and fight of disease, BUT it is phenomenal for your mental well-being. Once people make this connection, it is easy to make exercise a healthy and enjoyable part of your daily routine. It truly does become addictive, because it makes you feel good!

The science behind this ‘feel-good effect,’ is all thanks to endorphins, otherwise know as the ‘happy hormones’. Exercise promotes the production of these, and thus improving our mental outlook. It is also pretty exciting to look at the research around the brain, particularly the hippocampus.This is the part of the brain responsible for memory and studies show that exercise increases its growth. Now, what was I talking about? 😉

At Family First Fitness we are all about helping families make this discovery together and get healthier and happier in the process! Our children’s program, Bust-a-Burpee is all-inclusive and it is amazing to celebrate the success of children who are not necessarily engaged in team sports or physical activity. This lack of inclusion can be detrimental to a young person’s mental well-being. It is for these reasons that we are aligned with local charity STEPMci. STEP are all about educating local kids and getting them excited about their health, mentally and physically.

Last week was Mental Health week and we were proud to be part of the STEPathon, bringing over 1,000 local children together to get up and get active! What a great week to get involved in exercise, my personal favourite medicine when it comes to de-stressing and unwinding!

So think about your excuses and consider making them your reasons!