Week 8 of WDHN 18-week fitness challenge: Mental Health

Wake Up Wiregrass

We all know that exercise can help us look better and aid in keeping our weight down and will speed up our metabolism, but it also has numerous benefits as it relates to improving our overall mental health. 

It helps lower stress and anxiety as well as reducing the symptoms of ADHD and helps to sharpen our memory. 

Additionally, other benefits of working out include increased energy, better sleep and stronger resilience. 

It promotes all kinds of changes in the brain including neural growth, reduced inflammation and new activity patterns that generate feelings of calm and wellbeing. 

Jaime Custer, a personal trainer at Orange Theory Fitness, said when coaching, she tells others to not only focus on physical gains of working out but to embrace not only the body, but your mind and soul as well to get the best results.

“Focus on 5 things that you are grateful for,” Custer said. “Finding gratitude as soon as you wake up, and then from there, go and extend yourself into that gratitude and hunting that good stuff in life that will automatically just kind of shift our mindset because really working out, some people get so caught up and solely focus on the physical aspect of a workout, but it really is mind, body and spirit connection. As a personal trainer, I like to encompass everything as a 3-in-1 so it all works synergistically together. 

“So if we are just focusing on the physical aspect of it and just the mental and we’re missing the spiritual, that’s when we fall short because we are not strong enough within ourselves so we have to be able to lean on something else. For me, it’s God so I find my faith in knowing that makes me stronger so for me prayer and meditation are a huge part of my days and especially those daily habits.” 

Custer said if you miss a workout or even an entire week or month, to not self-sabotage or quit, simply take breaks when needed and jump back on the bandwagon. 

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