Often as women, we struggle to put our own health first – perhaps as caregivers it’s a natural instinct. Nowadays, when the actual threat to our families is relatively low, we still find a way to disregard our own health concerns which can lead to more serious or longer-term issues.
At Balanced Bodies, our focus is on helping people reclaim or establish a sustainable healthy lifestyle that prioritizes both mental and physical health. Exercise is an incredible tool for improving both physical strength and mental wellbeing, which is why we have a range of packages available for clients! These range from terms for everyone, through to monthly unlimited class passes for our injury prevention and rehabilitation clients! It’s a great way to regularly get your body moving and try out a variety of exercise styles, safe under the guidance of an expert.
So, at the very basic level, most people are aware that regular exercise induces the release of endorphins which make you feel good. But for many people, exercise often feels like something we have to do – ever heard yourself say “I should go for a run” and then not done it? This could be for a number of reasons; you feel like it’s going to be hard, you feel self-conscious, you don’t feel safe running alone, it’s been a long time since you’ve done that type of exercise or because you feel like you have to, rather than you want to.
Rethinking how we see exercise can help us better recognize the benefits exercise can provide us with. Particularly when it takes on this cyclical nature; the more positive our mindset, the more we exercise, the better we feel and the more we exercise…
However, as with everything, starting is the hardest. So, here are our tips for introducing exercise and improving mental wellbeing:
Take it slow
The key to creating a truly sustainable healthy lifestyle is to introduce new things gradually and integrate them into your daily routine. For example, if you’re not naturally a morning person and suddenly you start forcing yourself to wake up at 6am and go for a run, you’ve set yourself an impossible task – you’ll probably only be able to keep it up for a few weeks and then feel like you’ve failed.
Exercise shouldn’t be something that leads to ‘success’ or ‘failure’ but something that becomes an enjoyable part of a balanced lifestyle. Taking on a new form of exercise suddenly can also cause injury and inhibit any further progress. So, remember to take it slow to truly feel both the physical and mental benefits of exercise.
Find something you will enjoy
It is OK to not have found an exercise that you enjoy yet. A sustainable exercise routine is one that you enjoy because simply put, if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t be internally motivated to continue. Your mindset will revert back to doing exercise simply because you feel you have to.
Take your time to explore a variety of exercises and find one that you enjoy! Our taster sessions allow you to try any of our classes, before you commit, and they start from as little as £6. Beyond that it is a great way to explore a few different forms of exercise and find one that suits you. We may be biased, but we have noticed that there is lots of chattering in our classes (sometimes it’s hard to get a word in edge ways to instruct because of all the chats and laughing that is going on!), and that really does make a difference in keeping people coming back week in, week out!
Look after yourself
Creating a healthy lifestyle does not begin and end with introducing regular exercise. You also need to look after your body in all other aspects like mobility, quality of sleep and diet. All these things can have a positive or negative impact on your ability or your drive to maintain a healthy lifestyle depending on how you manage them.
Ensuring your joints and muscles are prepared for regular exercise is really important to avoid injury. Without maintaining good mobility, you can damage your joints and muscles – think of it like trying to use a mechanism that hasn’t moved for some time, it will take care and time to make sure it works again without breaking.
It’s widely known that your quality of sleep and diet can drastically impact your motivation to exercise. However, exercise can also improve your quality of sleep and encourage you to eat better! Once we start moving more regularly, we become more focused on fuelling our bodies and providing them with what they need to continue performing optimally – both physically and mentally.
Use it as a stress-release
Unfortunately for many of us, stress has become a regular feature in our lives. Managing stress is really important to be able to function and improve your mental wellbeing. Being active can keep your mind focused on physical movements stopping anxiety-inducing thoughts circling endlessly through your mind.
Often people think of exercise as purely physical with physical benefits but it’s important to remember how impactful exercise can be for your mental wellbeing.
Remember, the benefits of exercise are multifaceted
Beyond the beauty of our biological scaffolding getting stronger and more supportive of a healthy lifestyle, there are exponential benefits of exercise that you might not be aware of. Exercise is our superpower when it comes to combatting health conditions and diseases; everything from strokes, to high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes, to Metabolic Syndrome, arthritis and even the management of some types of cancer.
In the middle of this pandemic, our mental health, energy levels and ability to sleep well are at an all-time low, so exercise gets right to the heart of the problem. It can help to boost our confidence and promote a more efficient cardiovascular system leading to improved energy levels throughout the day and better sleep at night. Plus, for the adults in the room, regular exercise can also do wonders for the libido!
So, whilst we are always keen to promote exercise therapy as part of the recovery from, or prevention of an injury, it’s the cherry on the cake to know that the benefits of exercise often offer a double whammy of sustainable goodness!
Plus, when you exercise with us, you are also accessing an awesome community of people who support each other every day and make living a healthy lifestyle fun.
So, what classes can I join?
Interested in joining an individual class or want to explore using a Class Pass for unlimited spaces? We offer the following classes to help you stay fit and improve your physical and mental health on your route to a long-term healthy lifestyle.
As Joanna places a huge emphasis on keeping you safe, all new clients are required to complete a health questionnaire (for those with an injury or more complex needs we may ask you to complete a 1:2:1 consult with us first) before starting to exercise. We are also happy to set up a free initial consult to answer any questions and address any concerns!
Stretchy Bodies & Strong Bodies Classes
Our Stretchy Bodies Classes are all about promoting flexibility, mobility, circulation, and positive mental health in a safe, calming environment. Stretchy Bodies is a Balanced Bodies Injury Rehabilitation creation – so you are in good hands.
Our Strong Bodies Classes are low-impact and focus on building muscular endurance – these classes are open to all levels of experience from total beginners to marathon runners, we can adapt each movement to suit you.
With Pilates, it is so important to ensure that you perform each movement in a safe way – engaging your core, keeping a neutral spine and considering movement dissociation; that’s why we make sure all our Pilates attendees receive a thorough introduction to the theory of Pilates either via a small group session or a 1:2:1 with Joanna.
After your introduction session you’re free to join as many classes as you like!
Here is our March Timetable:
Need a bit more support or not sure what’s right for you? Simply get in touch! You can book a free 20-minute consultation with Joanna our Balanced Bodies Therapist, to talk through any concerns you may have and to figure out the right, tailored plan of action for you.