father and daughter doing push ups

Importance of Exercise

Research continues to show us the many benefits of physical exercise. We know that exercise helps us not only physically, but also emotionally. Many individuals before the pandemic had some sort of exercise routine in place, but because of the pandemic there are now many individuals who have struggled to get back into their workout routine. If you have struggled with getting back into your exercise routine, know that you are not alone. There are many things you can do to get back on track as well.

We know that even a little bit of exercise is better than nothing. So, if you are struggling because you feel like you do not have the time to work out, know that even 10 minutes of movement is better than doing nothing at all. Jacob Meyer, Director of the Wellbeing and Exercise lab at Iowa State University, says that going from no activity at all to just a little bit of activity is going to have a very big positive health effect on individuals. You could even do small amounts of exercise multiple times throughout the day. If you have 5 minutes every hour to do some sort of activity, then that time will add up throughout each day.

It is important to know what works best for you. For example, lifting weights is not for everyone. If you know that you do not like lifting weights, then do not force yourself to do that. We all need to find some sort of physical exercise activity that we enjoy doing. The more we enjoy it, the more likely we are going to continue to do it.

Another thing we can all do to help us be more physically active is to walk whenever and wherever we can. Walking around your house, your neighborhood, or workplace will help you to become more physically active.

As mentioned above exercise is important for both our physical and emotional well-being. It helps improve our mood, memory, and focus. It can help individuals get better quality sleep which is beneficial for an individual’s mental health. Exercise can also help reduce anxiety and depression as well.

It can be difficult to get back into the routine of working out. Do not put pressure on yourself to get started right away and be sure to give yourself grace and self-compassion if you are not working out as much as you would like to be. Our lives are all busy and it can be difficult to find the time. Hopefully some of the tips mentioned above will be helpful in starting back up your exercise routine. Research shows us the benefits of exercise, so hopefully you can find something that works the best for you and something that you enjoy doing.  

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/10/16/1034201715/home-workout-exercise-tips
https://www.jpost.com/special-content/why-exercise-is-more-important-than-ever-for-mental-health-682950

Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.