The concept of exercise improving our mood is not new. Many studies in recent years have shown that people who are physically active have a much lower risk of developing anxiety and depression than those who aren’t.
A 2018 study by researchers at the University of Michigan compared research databases to look more closely at the frequency and the types of exercise that might lift our mood best, as well as whether these effects were only seen in certain groups of people. It reported a positive link between physical activity and happiness in all of the research that was analysed. In many of the papers, as little as 10 minutes of physical activity per day was linked with better mood, and people who were active for only 1 or 2 days per week had increased levels of happiness than those who didn’t exercise.
But what do you do if you know about these benefits but still find it hard to motivate yourself to get active? It’s inevitable that there will be days when you can’t be bothered to exercise and it seems like a real struggle to put on your workout gear. So it’s a good idea to prepare for those times in advance.
Use this quick coaching exercise to help you get through those moments and remind yourself why you want to get moving:
Grab some post-it notes and a pen, and spend a few minutes:
Note: you may need to change the location of these when you get used to them being in a certain place!