Why exercise can save more than your sanity when WFH
Macmillan Cancer Support recently published research showing that an estimated 7 million people across the country have turned to exercise including jogging or running during the pandemic crisis to boost their mental health.
One in seven people in the UK (14%) said exercise had helped them handle stress better since the first lockdown.
Exercise proved more popular than meditation or yoga (12%). Roughly 33% said physical activity including running, helped them feel calmer and more positive, while one in five said it helped them to feel mentally stronger.
Macmillan is hoping this will all mean a record interest for the 2021 London Marathon. 2020’s event was first postponed to October and then cut back to just an elite event, following a year that has left charities devastated following reduced fundraising.
You are never too young, or old to start either. Nor are you too fit or unfit. From a gentle jog initially, gradually building up to a slow, then faster run, this is one exercise with no limits on who can join in or at what level.
Everyone can do it.
Whatever the weather!
Taking a regular stroll to the local park, it’s surprising how many new faces you can spot, having a run or jog.
According to City AM, Sports Direct sold 218% more pairs of running trainers online during the lockdown than in the same period 12 months before, and Britons bought 243% more running clothing than normal!
One of the best, instant results from a run is the immediate lift of your mood. This isn’t an accident.
The science bit.
When you exercise, endorphins, tiny chemicals, react giddily with chemical receptors in our bodies and go mad inside our bodies. That’s what causes you to feel lifted in body and soul. Those jigging, rushing chemicals. A whole new 21st-century twist to the phrase ‘gettin’ jiggy with it’ 🤣🤣
Whether you’re experiencing a simple case of the Monday blues while working from home, or more persistent symptoms of depression, that’s why exercise can really help to boost your mood and reframe your mental health to a new, much more positive place.
Getting regular exercise is important for good physical and mental health. Exercise can help stimulate parts of your brain that aren’t as responsive when you’re feeling depressed. It also promotes the release of feel-good brain chemicals. Exercise can also help to distract you from your worries and improve your confidence.
Commenting in the Guardian, Saurav Dutt, a 38-year-old author in London, ramped up his running in 2021 after taking it up for the first time during the initial lockdown.
“I used to try to avoid running as much as possible just because of the effort,” he said. “But the endorphin release after a big run is really significant, it really lifts your mood. And you’re also thinking about reinforcing your own general health, because underlying conditions are a big problem with Covid.”
In the absence of normal running groups, a number of virtual running challenges have been set up online during the pandemic. Its why we set up our #miles4meals initiative too so that people wfh can still get some valuable exercise AND help a worthwhile cause!
These virtual running groups are especially popular with people working from home. It’s not good for us to be sat down at a desk all day, the tension it puts on your lower back and your hips, it is really important to get out and move the body. Here at Astute, we are thrilled with the response so far from candidates, clients and businesses offering their time and miles to help us.
Its been interesting to highlight to businesses and employers that the benefits of virtual group exercise projects can really help the levels of employee engagement, staff wellbeing AND productivity levels in their teams. Some bracing physical activity is scientifically proven to aid and improve worker’s efficiency and increase the amount of work they can do in their job.
You can easily join into a virtual group by using the NHS/ Public Health England’s Couch to 5k app which was downloaded 858,000 times between March and June last year, a 92% increase compared with 2019. Check out more information on this useful link https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-running-with-couch-to-5k/
Like many across the country, our busy working days now revolve around a “commute a few steps downstairs or upstairs” and Zoom meetings. With long, long hours sat tapping away on laptops interspersed with calls.
Gone is the commute to the office. For many, our step counts and levels of movement have suffered.
Before Covid struck, most of us would travel, often walking to meetings, even taking a lunchtime stroll to grab some lunch. Now, that 20-minute stroll can easily become a daily ‘two-step toddle’ to the fridge and back.
This is why all of us at Astute wanted to do an organised event to raise awareness of the physical and mental health benefits of exercise AND support our local communities whilst helping a brilliant local charity, all at the same time.
Hence, our #miles4meals charity initiative was born! 😊
To make a donation, check out our fundraising page on Derby City Mission’s website HERE
Alternatively, if you or your team would like to join us to help Derby City Mission put together more food parcels for those in need, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org and my team and I will warmly welcome you and send you more information.
Article by Mary Maguire
Astute | Accountancy & Finance | HR | Office Support
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