For a healthy mind, start with a healthy body

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.

– John F. Kennedy

If you want a healthy mind then it helps to keep a healthy body. Common sense? Not that common unfortunately. But how can your mind work at it’s best when you let your body fall into a state of disrepair? The health and wellbeing of our mind and body are interconnected, whether we like it or not!

Exercise properly, don’t kid yourself

Walking to the shops to buy your lunch doesn’t count.¬†Exercise at a decent level of intensity. Really making yourself sweat has a great effect on the human body and mind. There are lots of different activities that are good for you, but to get the best health benefits you need to work your heart and lungs. That means if it doesn’t make you puff, you’re kidding yourself.

Challenge yourself

It’s easy to get comfortable in an exercise regime, and there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s working for you, but challenging yourself with new things can be good for you mentally as well as physically.

Have some variety

The best approach is a varied one. For me, running is the core component. But I get out for a mountain bike ride and hit the gym as well. I find that I get different things from each activity. Mountain biking, and especially the gym, give me a more whole body workout. Whereas running is mostly just about cardiovascular fitness.

Find like-minded individuals to share it with

Talking about your exercise with people who understand what you’re on about is a great way to stay motivated. They can understand the challenges you face, and will be just as excited as you are about the features on your new running shoes.

Be wary of the plateau

The plateau is what you reach after you’ve been exercising for a few months. You’ve made some gains but things have settled down. The novelty has worn off. This is when people give up. If you know it’s coming you are ready for it and can adapt by changing your routine, entering a competition etc.

Having trouble getting motivated? Here are some tips to get you motivated. But don’t just read about it, start today!

Image credit: Mike Baird

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