Walking For Your Mental Health

Even as a qualified fitness instructor, I find the idea of strenuous exercise quite daunting. I’ve fallen off the wagon and been quite lazy over the last few months, especially since I quit working at the gym. Gathering motivation when you’re depressed is very difficult unfortunately.

However, I try my best to keep my fitness up with something I genuinely enjoy, and that’s walking. Walking is probably one of the most underrated forms of exercise in the fitness world as it’s deemed ‘not enough’. But, this post is to tell you that it absolutely is enough and you 100% will receive great benefits from regular brisk walking.

The physical benefits of walking can include;

  • Reduced risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease
  • Increased cardiac & pulmonary fitness
  • Encouraged weight loss and reduction of body fat
  • Increased bone strength
  • Increased muscle endurance
  • Boosted immune system

The mental benefits of walking can include;

  • Improved mood with the release of endorphins
  • Reduction of stress & anxiety
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Improved memory
  • Increased relaxation
  • Helps to control addiction

I enjoy walking for a lot of these reasons but for a few personal reasons too. As I’m not working at the moment I find it very difficult to separate my days, so it all ends up a big blur at times. So, it’s very important for me to get outside as part of a daily routine.

I also genuinely just love being outside in nature. The smell of fresh air is far too underrated and I could happily sit outside for hours with the sun on my face taking big, deep breaths. I find it so relaxing and it really helps me to feel at peace.

Walking ticks a lot of boxes for me and that’s why I love it so much. I’m very lucky to live in Cornwall as I’m surrounded by lots of beautiful places and the coastline is all around me, so there’s always lots to explore.

If you’re struggling with your MH and haven’t allowed your body some exercise, I would definitely recommend giving regular walking a go! Find advice from the NHS on starting out walking here.

Here’s a walk I went on yesterday evening – beautiful!

 

10 Jan ’17

img_3503Well I actually managed to go for a swim yesterday afternoon before I went to work. It was actually really refreshing and stress relieving – and bonus.. I had the pool to myself! I’m not a fantastic swimmer but it was great to actually get in some cardio.

Not feeling fantastic today tbh. Feeling very fatigued, and the nausea from feeling anxious has almost washed away after being sat down at work for over an hour.

9-7.30 today, I’ll get through.

X

Sunday

 

I’ve actually managed to get in the gym twice this week after a short (ok maybe long..) break due to chronic laziness and lack of motivation. I know I preach about how good exercise is for your mental health, but even I find myself pulling the duvet over my eyes for ‘just another 5 minutes’ until there’s no time at all. Fuck it.

But, I’m proud that I have managed to get in, it genuinely makes me feel so good and has boosted my ‘happiness’ this week for sure.

I’m now diffusing Lavender, R.C. & Mental Clarity, enjoying some coffee (how cool is my mug!) and watching a Disney movie (of which I have no idea what is going on in..).

I’m feeling very thankful for those who read my blog, take the time to get in touch with and offer me words of advice and encouragement. You guys are truly beautiful people and each and every one of you push me on to see each day.

Thank you guys so much, you’re the bomb!

X

#MentalMovement / How Getting Active Can Help Manage Your Anxiety

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Experiencing Anxiety can be totally crippling for your entire life – believe me, I’ve experienced it first-hand. So, finding something that truly helps manage it can be totally life changing. I experienced that life changing feeling when I chose to commit myself to the gym.

The benefits of exercise for physical health have been long established, but the benefits for mental health seem to be somewhat overlooked, where a box of pills seems to be just what everybody needs – I disagree. It has been scientifically proven that getting active improves your mental wellbeing. I do currently take Anti-Depressants, but I have never really been sure if they work for me or not. Exercise is different.

Click here to read my full article!

MY F.I.T Class – 02.12.16

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What is F.I.T? (Don’t worry when I first saw the name, I was thinking the same thing!)

F.I.T stands for Functional Interval Training and is a form of ‘Functional Training’. FT was created to train the body for activities included in everyday life. I like to use a selection of weighted and body weight exercises to provide a variety of exercises. This improves your strength and endurance, as well as improving your cardivascular health.

“Strive for progress, not perfection!”

If you want to give this a go, please ensure you have close access to water at all times, and should you start to feel any dizziness, light-headedness or nausea please cease all activity immediately. Consult you Dr before participating in any further physical activity. Ensure you warm up properly before carrying out the workout. 5-8 minutes of cardiovascular exercise e.g. rowing machine or cross trainer are ideal to release any fluid in the joints and raise the heart rate.

Carry out each individual exercise for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, and then continue onto the next exercise. Once you have completed a round, rest for 1 minute and then continue onto the next round. (1, 2, 1, 2).

You can use just a standard timer but this is awkward as you have to keep an eye out, so I use an app from the Apple Store called ‘PushPress Timer Free’ which includes beeper and spoken cues. On the app – choose the ‘Tabata’ tab at the bottom of the screen and fill out the info as follows:

Prepare – :10 (to allow you to get into position once you’ve pressed start!)
Work – :45
Rest – :15
Rounds – 5
Cycles – 4
Rest Between Cycles – :45

THE WORKOUT

ROUND 1

Burpees (how to)
Crunches (how to)
Reverse Lunges (how to)
TRX Row (how to)
Plank (how to)

ROUND 2

Barbell Shoulder Press (how to)
Side Lunges (how to)
Toe Touches (how to)
Donkey Kicks (how to)
Side Plank (Switch half way through – 22.5 secs) (how to)

Complete the session with a drink (preferably water!) and a gentle walk or jog around/on treadmill/cross trainer before a full body stretching session. Ideally your heart rate should be lower than 100 BPM (Beats per minute).

DISCLAIMER – You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. You should not participate in any physical activity if your Dr has advised you not to. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Gemma from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Gemma’s negligence. 

#MentalMovement / Fitness – My Go To Workout

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Fitness has played a big part in my recovery this year (I’ve even recently being hired as a trainee fitness instructor!) so I wanted to share with you all my go-to workout. If you’ve not considered fitness, get to the gym and try this workout 2-3 times with a day or two in between and see how it makes you feel. I promise you those endorphin’s are real!

You’ll need an hour of free time, a bog-standard gym, a bottle of water and a little determination!

Check it out here!

#MentalMovement – KoKo Speaks Volumes in the Kardashian Self-Help Book

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Title: Strong Looks Better Naked

Author: Khloé Kardashian

Publication: 2015

KoKo Speaks Volume

Khloé  Kardashian’s book ‘Strong Looks Better Naked’; is not what an outsider might first think. Upon reading the introduction to this book I knew I would love and benefit from it. Khloé speaks of fitness, food, the soul and much more in this both refreshing and enlightening chapter of her life. Her humble and beautiful personality shines.

See more here.

#MentalMovement / When Your Mental Health Affects Your Job

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When you deal with Mental Health issues that leave your emotions and mood all over the place, being employed can actually make it so much worse.

Would you frown at someone who talked about that nasty flu they had? No – so please don’t do the same to someone who talks about their mental health. We have just as much control over the flu as we do depression, be nice. Tah.

I was aged 18 and in college at the time; studying A-Levels and intending to build myself an envious career and a future that would bring me happiness. Unfortunately, the ‘black dog’ followed me everywhere. My attendance grew thin, my motivation non-existent and my grades not nearly reflecting my level of intelligence. The wave of frustration that engulfed my existence finally became too much to bear.

Keep reading here.

#MentalMovement / 5 Reasons Why Women Should Weight Lift

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Far too many women associate weight lifting with being masculine, I want to change that.

I see women coming into the gym each and every day, desperately searching for a toned body. They jump on a spinning bike, join a HIIT class or combine a few squats and sit-ups, and wonder why that chiselled summer bod just isn’t jumping out at them, and I have a simple solution – if only they realised weight lifting isn’t just for men.

Don’t get me wrong, cardiovascular exercise is very important and many body builders need dragging onto a treadmill, but weight lifting has so many benefits.

Here’s a few! Check it out here.