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Jump Into Exercise To Improve Your Mental And Emotional Health And Wellbeing

How many days have you had in the last 14 months or so where you just felt like you had a case of the blahs? How many times have you felt down, distressed, unmotivated, and sluggish?

How many of those days did you do something to feel better, or did you do nothing assuming it was “just the way it is”?

The team at Live Well Kitsap knows it does not have to be this way. Covid or not, stress, disappointments and difficulties are going to be with us for a lifetime. So how can we learn to shift our life to one that allows us to weather lifes’ storms and stresses and the resulting anxiety, distress or depression that can follow?

One easy to do and really effective way to shift your mood, motivation and stress levels is to get up and jump into some exercise. Now for the purpose of this blog, we’d like to call it FAAT instead of the dreaded “exercise” word. Many people think exercise is synonymous with having to go to the gym, work out for hours, or worse yet, feeling guilt over this thing I “should be” doing that I am not.

FAAT on the other hand, stands for Fun Activity Appointment Time. The focus is on moving your body in a way that is fun and becomes an activity you will actually look forward to. ( We'll take anticipation over guilt any day.)

Moving your body does not have to be costly in terms of money or time, or something that puts you into a ball of sweat for hours at a time either. In fact, the reason we call moving your body on a regular basis FAAT, is because the acronym reminds us that moving our body ought to be fun.

Additionally, it is something we need to do on a regular basis to really reap the benefits so making it an activity that we schedule (Appointment ) ensures that it just becomes part of our day.

Here are a few ideas because the research clearly shows, whether you are challenged with the blahs, mild, medium or severe depression or anxiety, ADD or a chronic stress load, moving your body daily is one of the best least toxic ways to help yourself.

  1. Start Out Small and Consistent- Pick one thing that you actually like to do that gets you up and moving. If you like to walk or do intervals of walk/ jog, then start there. Perhaps you are someone who likes to get to swim, do yoga or thai chi. The important part is that you look forward to it.

  2. Add The Activity to Your Calendar. That is the Appointment part. You are making a choice just one time to do this by adding it to your calendar every day, or even 2-3 days a week to start if that feels less overwhelming.

  3. Notice How You Feel after Your Fun Activity- Did you notice that your outlook, energy or mood improved? If you suffer from anxiety, did you notice that your brain got a break from ruminating thoughts? Did you notice that your focus and concentration improved?

  4. Keep a Log so you can See the Benefits over Time. Pay attention to how much better you feel after your fun activity over time. What do you notice about how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally? Do you seem to feel better, stronger and more in control? Does your brain seem to function better with more clarity? Do you seem to have more patience and a better outlook? Do you notice when you are done moving your body you desire to eat healthier too?

So many great things happen when we move our body- namely we have the opportunity to engage in something fun often with others- and we benefit from our brains getting a good neurochemical bath. If you are paying attention you will very likely see the benefits of making time for many fun activity appointment times in your week.

Jump into a regular routine of adding FAAT to your life and love the benefits you will receive in mind, body and spirit.

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