I’ve got something to admit. I’ve read countless articles that talk about the benefit of exercising for people with mood disorders. I’ve listened as researchers promote exercise as a way of relieving stress and lifting your mood.
And still… I don’t do it.
Every morning, I open one eye as my husband gets up to train for an adventure race he’s doing in Thailand this month.
And then I pull the covers closer around me and snooze until I’ve got half and hour left before I need to have school lunches made, bags packed and be driving out of the driveway for school drop off. An hour later, I sit down at work, inhaling a cup of coffee to give me the boost I need to start my day.
Needless to say, I’m not a morning exercise type of person.
Problem is that I’m not an evening exercise type of person either. By the time my husband and I have our three kids fed and in bed, the last thing I feel like doing is pulling on my active wear and heading out in the cold to the gym.
I could hit the treadmill collecting dust in my garage, but problem is, I’m not an exercising alone type of person. I prefer to exercise while catching up with friends. Only problem is that we usually skip the exercise and just catch up over a cup of tea.
So this leave me in a dilemma.
If I want to be serious about my mental health, I know that I need to prioritise some form of exercise. But it needs to be something that I can commit to without it seeming like a chore that I’d do anything to avoid.
I was dwelling on this in recent weeks when a newspaper article caught my eye, extolling the benefits of “tree walking”. Apparently, benefits of a long walk compound when you add trees to the equation. Being among nature, with trees around you, is now scientifically proven to boost your mood significantly.
Which brings me to my new resolution.
I am going to commit to going on a walk among trees every week – rain, hail or shine. And I’m going to find a friend who wants to come with me. Lucky for me I happen to live at the base of a mountain range, with lots of trails to choose from.
So now, I just need to get off the couch and up that mountain!
Do you use exercise as a way to boost your mood or reduce stress? I’d love to hear what you do or if you struggle with finding the motivation to exercise.