I challenge you to stop and think differently about fitness, start thinking about physical exercise as a powerful mental workout for your mind and not just something you do with your body. Claire Cole, founder of Movement for Mums tells us just that, she believes exercise can be as enjoyable and as addictive as a Netflix binge with a dirty Friday night takeaway! Try it!

Health on Female First

Health on Female First

Physical exercise generates happy neurotransmitters like popping candy in the brain. These endorphins wash away the stress and anxiety chemicals and help boost your mood for the whole day.

Here’s Claire’s 7 reasons why fitness and mental health go hand in hand

Sleep matters

Sleep is like teenage sex, no one is getting as much as they would like! Exercise increases the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and this helps you relax and fall asleep. We all know that feeling of waking up and being able to take on the world and win when we’ve had a good night’s sleep.

Boost your productivity

Exercise improves the cognitive functions associated with decision-making and therefore enables you to be more switched on and productive for the rest of your day. Scientists believe that your grey matter is less likely to suffer from dementia with regular exercise.

Stimulate don’t annihilate

Before you convince yourself the To Do list can’t wait, set the alarm 30 mins early, take that time for YOU. Exercise doesn’t have to annihilate, do something that makes you feel good, not something you think you should do.

Train your biceps and your brain

Try weight training, you can train your muscles to adapt to lifting a physical load and this extends to your brain too, lifting makes you strong in body and mind and can help improve not just those “guns” but also our perceived body image making us feel good.

Make it social

The social aspect of team sports creates friendships, even if you don’t know anyone, you are immediately immersed in a support network as the match begins. Feed off the feel good vibes of a shared connection, camaraderie is a great way of feeling good.

More is NOT better

You don’t have to run a marathon to boost your mood, 45 minutes is optimal, 3 to 5 times a week. ALL movement counts and ALL movement makes you feel good. Walk, run, try a Disney dance off in the kitchen, just move your body in a way that fits with your lifestyle. Don’t get stressed by your workout.

Get out of your mind

Challenge yourself to be more active everyday, studies show that during exercise we don’t think about the day’s stresses. We all know it’s better to eat a biscuit a day rather than smash two packets in one sitting so commit to doing something active every day that works for you.

Claire’s passion for intuitive fitness that supports your mental health comes from her own experience of agoraphobia in her 20s to post-natal depression in her 30’s. She’s on a mission to get women feeling good about themselves and her enthusiasm is infectious.

You can find Claire streaming live mood boosting workouts online, find out more at www.movementformums.com