January 19, 2018

Mind, Body, Sports

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We all know that sports and regular exercise are good for our bodies, helping us to lose weight, stay trim and keep everything from our hearts to our lungs strong and stable, but did you know that sports can have an extremely positive effect on the mind too?

If you’ve ever been anxious, depressed or otherwise troubled by your mental health, chances are someone has told you to get some exercise and chances are you’ll have been pretty annoyed by that. However, they were probably (kind of) right. Although exercise isn’t a panacea for mental health, it can help, especially if you take part in one of these exercises that are great for the body AND the mind…

Hiking

Hiking is a fantastic hobby which will not only help you to burn calories and tone your butt, legs and thighs, but it will also help to rejuvenate your mind too. You see, when you’re out walking in nature, enjoying the trees and the sounds of the birds above you, it has an amazing calming effect that has been proven to tackle stress and help to chase the blues away.

Rock Climbing

Whether it be bouldering, mountain climbing ice climbing or climbing the artificial wall at your local sports center, the process of climbing, which you can find out more about at     ClimbThatRock.com, is a great mind/body sport. Why? Because not only does it tone the whole body, but because you have to concentrate very carefully on what you’re doing, it can break the cycle of rumination which is one of the biggest problems when it comes to conditions like depression and anxiety.

Swimming

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Swimming is such a great sport. I mean it is amazing for building cardiovascular fitness and building muscle tone, but it is low-impact, which means that most people can do it and if you swim in intervals or go all out, you can burn masses of fat too.

Perhaps more importantly, the rhythm of your body and your breath as you swim can really help to calm you down and leave you feeling rejuvenated. So, next time you’re stressed out, try hitting the pool.

Cycling

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular all over the world thanks to cycling superstars like Peter Stetina, Bradley Wiggins and Allison Beveridge, who are inspiring people all across the planet to start moving on two wheels – something you can find out more about at active.com/cycling/. This is really good news because cycling is perfect for burning calories and developing thighs of steel. It’s also good for taking your mind off your problems, particularly if you cycle outdoors where you’ll breathe fresh air and see the wonders of nature all around you.

Yoga

Of course, the ultimate in mind-body sports has to be yoga which is all about aligning your mind, body and breath. It’s like meditation, but meditation that will give you more strength, flexibility and a killer body into the bargain.

So, next time you’re feeling blue, or you’re worrying excessively about things that don’t really matter, as well as seeing your doctor if it’s that serious, go for a swim, join a yoga class or get out in nature – it’ll probably do you the world of good.

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