“It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
I’ve been promising this post for a while and I’ve taken my sweet time writing it. Why? Its actually a subject really close to my heart (well technically health!)
Its no secret that I suffer with Mental Health issues and whilst I may appear “brave” to admit it openly, don’t forget I am an anonymous FI blogger so I wouldn’t say I was that brave. In fact in some ways my mental health is why I don’t post my real name on here. Whilst people say they are understanding, I really do believe unless you have lived with it or lived with someone with it, then its really hard to understand exactly what it is.
I had a taste of this first hand after I gave birth to my daughter. Everyone told me I was bound to suffer from Postnatal Depression given my mental health background. I wasn’t the slightest bit worried as I am well versed in all the inner demons, I wasn’t at all prepared for the horrifying experience I suffered through alone.
I don’t take a lot of tablets for my mental health anymore as I’m lucky that I have Mr Fire. We tend to talk through things if they are dragging me back. I also use exercise as a way of “lifting” my mood and giving me clarity. I have always wondered if it was just me that got the “exercise high” and so I thought I’d do some research and share it in a post.
Ever feel that exercise high after a really hard workout session? That was my first indication that exercise was actually doing something positive for my mental health. I have taken some strange medication combinations during my partnership with mental health problems but none of them have ever made me feel as uplifted as when working out.
I have always viewed physical activity as something I had to do opposed to wanting to do it for the sake of my health. I used to be really concerned with being skinny as I was obsessed with fashion (Couture if anyone is interested) and in order to fit into those sample dresses you have to be thinner than a skeleton. My way of burning the fat was the use cardio to blast away the calories I had eaten that day and then take an extra 500 calories off to make sure I lost the weight. Not very health huh.
What made me really think about fitness differently was a visit to a CBT session. I was told that cardio (more specifically running not he spot) could help a panic attack from beginning. That sparked a bit of an obsession with fitness, well being and mental health.
What is well being?
The government in the UK define it as “a positive physical, social and mental state”. I am focusing more on mental health as its an area I have much more experience in!
What are the positive effects of physical activity?
How much should I be doing?
I have a post all about the perfect workout routine. I personally find when suffering with mental health difficulties its best just to start and don’t get hung up on the details. Do what you enjoy, do it when you want and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Its hard enough when your feeling exhausted, low, overwhelmed and hopeless.
If anyone wishes to talk to me about mental health (I’m not an expert at all) please do get in touch.