HOW EXERCISE INCREASES YOUR RESILIENCE TO PRESSURE
Movement equals energy. Simply put, the more we move, the more energised we feel. On the other hand if we have a less active lifestyle, the more sluggish and tired we feel. If we regularly feel low in energy then this can affect our resilience, defined as the power or ability to bounce back, such as coping with daily pressures and adversity. We are also more likely to feel stressed and get ill.
So take a moment to think about how sedentary (or lacking in movement) your daily life may be. Statistics show that many people are highly inactive in their everyday life. For example, an average office worker’s week includes:
56 hours in bed
40 hours at work sitting at computers, in meetings etc.
7.5 hours seated commuting in a car or train
10 hours sitting down and eating
7 hours sitting down watching TV or reading
8.5 hours socialising with friends (often sitting)
14 hours cooking, washing, brushing teeth, showering, personal admin
When you add this up it comes to a grand total of 143 hours with little or no movement per week - that’s a staggering 85% of the week being sedentary. There are many other factors that contribute to low energy including diet and sleep patterns, but as movement = energy, being more active and increasing exercise is a simple way to feel energised and improve your resilience to pressure.
Here are some top movement and exercise habits that you can easily incorporate into your life:
· Aim to fill as much of your life as you can with movement. For example, get off the bus or train a stop early, park in the furthest car park space from your office or shops and always walk up stairs and escalators.
· Take regular breaks away from your desk, ideally every 60 minutes. Use this time to move around and have a stretch.
· Find an exercise that you enjoy and that fits your lifestyle, as this will increase your chances of sticking to it.
· Exercise in the morning, as this is the best time for energy and burning calories. People who exercise in the morning are always more consistent, as things don’t get in the way of the exercise session and there’s usually less procrastination!
· Motivate yourself with a fitness goal – make this goal specific with an achievable deadline. Sharing these goals or even exercising with others may help your motivation.
· Challenge yourself and shake up your exercise programme to train in your discomfort zone – this means training outside your comfort zone but not in your pain zone, which can damage your health.
Studies show that increasing movement and making exercise part of your weekly routine really does improve your health, energy and mental resilience. Now that the daylight hours are longer, it’s a perfect time to get moving.