Health & Fitness: Sticking to your new year’s resolutions to benefit mental and physical well-being | Newcastle Herald Leave a comment


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While increasing your physical activity levels is always a positive for your physical health, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) are reminding everyone that exercise also promotes better mental well-being. With the glow of the new year possibly starting to fade as many people return to work or “normal” life, sticking to your resolutions can gain more importance as feeling good inside and out can help you negotiate a hectic lifestyle. “We know that many people begin an exercise program thanks to the promises that they made at midnight on New Year’s Eve, only to abandon it by the time Easter arrives,” ESSA chief Anita Hobson-Powell says. “However, remembering the significant impact exercise can have on our mental health too can be a great way to ensure you stick to your resolution.” She said research indicates that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour has been shown to reduce the risk of major depression by 26 per cent as exercise promotes changes in the brain and releases “feel-good” endorphins. “2020 was a year of uncertainty, and while we hope the next 12 months will be more promising, there’s no way to predict what may happen,” Ms Hobson-Powell says. “By ensuring you have effective tools in your toolkit when it comes to dealing with the impact of the pandemic, such as daily exercise habits, you will be setting your mental health up for an improved outcome in 2021.” She suggests setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of just one overwhelming goal. And while some will enjoy working out at a gym, others will be more comfortable at home or outdoors. The Exercise Right website (exerciseright.com.au) might be a starting point with a wide range of at-home workouts and handy exercise tips. And while finding a challenge in 2020 once coronavirus hit proved difficult, 2021 so far is looking more promising with a number of community events scheduled. Virtual challenges are another option, such as the the Starlight Super Swim (superswim.org.au). Running for 30 days from January 26 to February 24, the idea is to set a distance goal and raise money for sick kids while also staying active. Or the 10,000 Steps program (10000steps.org.au), which was developed by Central Queensland University and encourages individuals, friend groups and workplaces nationwide to increase their daily step count. It offers goal setting and team tournaments, so you can challenge others and stay motivated together and hopefully all reap the physical and mental benefits of a more active lifestyle. (30 minutes) Set 1: 4min x (10 squats, 10 plank jacks). Rest 1min. Set 2: 4min x (10 push-ups, 20 lunges). Rest 1min. Set 3: 4min x (30seconds run, 30sec walk). Rest 1min. Set 4: 4min x (10 dead lift with a row, 10 shoulder press). Rest 1min. Set 5: 4min x (20 crunches, 10 glute bridge). Rest 1min. Set 6: 4min x (30sec run, 30sec walk). Rest 1min. Send your health and fitness news to r.valentine@austcommunitymedia.com.au Renee Valentine is a journalist, qualified personal trainer and mother of three.

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