I will not teach you anything by telling you that doing sports is good for your health. And yet, many of us still find it difficult to integrate sports into our daily lives. Why is that? Because it’s hard to get started, it’s hard to be regular, we don’t really feel the need to do it, we’re “lazy”… That’s why I decided today to remind you why it’s important to have a physical activity, and how to succeed in integrating it in our life rhythm.
Of course, exercising helps regulate your weight and sculpt your body. But this is only a small part of the benefits that we can attribute to its practice. Indeed, sport has real virtues on our mental health, and it would be a shame to deprive ourselves of them. But in fact, how does sport act on our mind?
Reduction of stress
It has been shown that people who practice regular physical activity react better to stressful situations. They react better in the sense that their somatic reactions are less intense throughout a stressful situation. Indeed, sport generates stress for the body (demand for an effort, exceeding its usual limits). Thus, the more we are subjected to this stress induced by the physical activity, the more we manage to control it and thus to reduce its effects. We become masters of our stress.
Moreover, physical activity is also a way to channel one’s energy and to relax afterwards. Often we are full of tensions and thoughts that we have difficulty in evacuating during the day. Playing sports allows this evacuation in a healthy way. It clears the mind and releases energy. We are then ready to relax and rest more easily.
Increase of our pain tolerance
When we do sports, we push ourselves, and in general it is not only a pleasure. It is even very often painful. Thus, by getting your body used to a certain pain management in the context of sport, you increase your tolerance threshold and your sensitivity threshold to pain.
An ally against depression
Depression is a pathology that affects a lot of French people. This places them among the largest consumers of antidepressants on the planet. But what is the purpose of these drugs? In reality, depression is induced by a hormonal imbalance in our brain. Antidepressants are therefore used to compensate for the lack or overflow of certain hormones. But surprise, sport is also a factor in the production of positive hormones! And what’s more, it’s natural… So practicing a regular physical activity is a bit like a natural medicine for depression.
Of course, we must be aware that some depressions require medical treatment, but sport is no less an ally to take into account.
Increase in self-confidence
When you do sports you feel good in your mind (as we have explained) and in your body (by allowing you to acquire or keep a firmer and more muscular body). These are two key elements of self-confidence. You appreciate yourself and you feel good. Once you have made this observation for yourself, you will not be able to do without it.
In a very concrete way, practicing a physical activity favors the production of endorphins in our body. This hormone, often referred to as the “happy hormone”, contributes to our sense of well-being.
But let’s be honest, even knowing all this, it is often difficult to start practicing sports. So how do you get started? Here are a few tips that might help:
- First, set realistic goals. If you haven’t exercised since you were 10 years old when your parents signed you up without asking you, you probably won’t be ready to run a marathon tomorrow. So set up a program that’s appropriate for your level and pace, one that won’t discourage you at the end of your first session.
- Choose a sport you enjoy. Doing sports doesn’t have to be torture. Even if it requires a certain physical effort, it must remain a pleasure. It is therefore obvious that you should choose a sport that you like. If you like being outdoors, try running. If you are looking for social contact, try team sports… Each sport has its own qualities!
- Set a time for your session. If you don’t set aside a few hours in your week to exercise, you’ll always have a good excuse not to go or not to exercise. The hardest part about working out is staying consistent. A time set aside just for it makes it easier to stick with it.
- If possible, find a friend with whom you commit to exercising every week. When you decide to do something together, it’s harder to get out of it if you’re “lazy”. Plus it will probably make the session more enjoyable if it’s shared.
- Treat yourself to a new workout outfit. You’ll want to try it on and show it off!
I hope these tips help you get started. Now all you have to do is 🙂
Sources : Emmanuel POIREL : Psychological benefits of physical activity for optimal mental health.