Wiggle It Wednesday Challenge - Exercise and Mental Health


Exercise and your mental health.

It is common knowledge that exercise is good for your physical health, but did you know that exercise can also be seriously good for your mental health? Research shows that people who exercise regularly have better mental health and lower rates of mental illness. Some studies even suggest that for treating mild-moderate mental health conditions like depression, exercise can be as effective as chatting with a therapist and medication – such a good reason to get out there and wiggle-it.

So, what exercise is the best exercise?

Let’s not overcomplicate this! The best exercise for you is the type of exercise you will do on a consistent basis. Scrap notions that you need to be out cross-fitting to the point of nausea, pounding the pavement to the point of blisters, pushing steel around the gym with calloused palms – short bursts of cardiovascular activity, simply 15-20 minutes at a time, can be highly beneficial.

No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn and begin to use exercise as a springboard to feel better.

If designating additional time in your day specifically for exercise doesn’t sound appealing, why not make exercise a part of your everyday routine? How about walking instead of driving? Why not get off the tram, train or bus a stop or two earlier than usual and walk the rest of the way? Why not walk and talk over a coffee meeting, instead of sitting stationary at a café sipping on your jumbo, iced, sugar-free, vanilla late with soymilk?

Be creative to get your daily fix of exercise but keep things simple – the less barriers, the less brain power that needs to go into your exercise routine, the more likely you will be to regularly commit to one.

If you are reading this and thinking that the challenges of kickstarting an exercise routine are being disregarded, please think again. It is certainly understood that motivation doesn’t simply rock up to your doorstep in an Uber Eats bag. For those who are experiencing mental health issues, finding the motivation to exercise can be extremely difficult.

But it is not impossible!

Action drives motivation, not the other way around. You really need to act; you need to do SOMETHING in order to kickstart your motivation. That SOMETHING can begin with the daily challenges detailed below. Come on guys, it’s time for us all to ‘wiggle it’ even if ‘just a little bit’.

For more comprehensive information on the benefits of exercise on your mental health, check out the LIVIN Exercise and Mental Health article.