Exercise

Here are some ideas about how you can tap into the power of exercise:

  • Exercising is good for your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and is linked to cardiovascular health, quality of sleep, stamina, mood, and susceptibility to mental ill-health such as depression. In all these respects, it interacts closely with diet.
  • Moderate aerobic exercise – walking or running 30-45 mins per day, can halve your risk of catching a cold or flu. One bout of activity can increase the Natural Killer Cells in your immune system tenfold.
  • Keeping muscle tone is essential for your immunity and resilience – too much belly fat is a key factor in low grade inflammation, which is connected with a lot of poor health.
  • At mid-life, we start losing muscle mass by 1-2 percent per year and your thymus gland, which is key to your immunity, starts to atrophy. Exercise can counter this.
  • The recommended goal is 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week and two sessions of something that builds up your strength. Many people know this!
  • The reason why our knowledge of this does not necessarily translate into behaviours is that we often fail to do two things: define the desired outcome in concrete, meaningful and personal terms and take a big reality check, meaning that we fail to formulate realistic, achievable goals.
  • Whilst you may not be able to change your life to live the perfect lifestyle, the most sustainable way to progress is by maintaining an achievable approach over the long term. This involves forming good habits by introducing small, maintainable changes. A good goal, for instance, would be to develop the capacity to run a certain distance, or fit into your favourite clothes, and establish daily habits that will actively push you towards this goal.
  • A great barrier to exercising is excuses, which, if we let them, will stop us from achieving our goals. Common excuses are: I don’t know how, and I don’t have time. Challenge them!
  • Resistance exercises build strength. You can do these just using your bodyweight: push-ups, lunges, squats and burpees are good examples. If you want to try weights, get some proper tuition.
  • Types of cardiovascular training are high intensity interval training (HIIT) which is a short yet intense workout working at up to 90% of your maximum heart rate, and low intensity steady state training (LISS) which is less intense on your heart rate but takes a bit longer.
  • Getting exercise can be as simple as just building movement into your everyday life.

  • Sixth Sense runs a workshop on this topic that you might enjoy. It’s called Exercise Works.  More details here

The Lockdown Barrier

It can be tempting to just stop exercising! That would be a mistake as the evidence is clear: exercise enhances mental health and boosts immunity. Here are a few more ideas:

  • Head to the web.There are loads of pre-recorded exercises on YouTube for example. You could try following these.

  • Join something on-line.This adds a bit of social connection (maybe join up with a friend). Also, for many of us, setting an appointment for a live class mean that we actually turn up and do it!

  • Get outside.One of few legitimate excuses for leaving your home, other than to get food and medicine, is to exercise. Take full advantage of that hour per day and if it’s sunny, use the opportunity to top up your levels of vitamin D.

  • Experiment and try something new. If you were never comfortable joining a Zumba or dance class, this may be your opportunity to try it out at home. You can choose to turn off your camera (at least until you get the moves).

Want to know more? Search the range of resources here on sane.works. There are book recommendations, links to websites, TED talks and worksheets and we are always adding to the list! Click here to begin.

Have a look at Chapter 4 of Mind Body Balance in Business. To order a copy, click here.

About

This site is maintained by two individuals who wear more than one hat – be it consultant, psychologist or psychotherapist – so you should expect to find a wide range of materials that are all about how people learn, perform and grow. Chris and Jackie founded Sixth Sense Consulting Ltd in 2010. We provide assessment, leadership development, team building, career transition, psychotherapy, and wellbeing services to individuals and organisations. Our aim is to share materials and resources we use in our day to day work with others in a digestible and practical format.

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