Exercise Can Improve Your Mental Health. Here's How It's Helped Ours...

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By Takia McClendon

This post was originally featured in City Fit Girls newsletter #147 for the week of September 24, 2018.

We know you've read the articles, browsed the books, and maybe even listened to podcasts about how running and physical activity can improve your mental health. For Kiera, committing to early morning workouts helped her prioritize herself before others (work, etc). As for me, hosting the track workouts keeps me inspired and motivated despite working through tendinitis. 

When we're not running or exercising, it's easy to let thoughts about work, finances, relationships, etc, get the best of us. Have you ever found yourself wrapped up in your "stuff" feeling like there's no way out? Sometimes, getting that workout in can make a big difference. Here's how it's helped us manage our mental health and day-to-day. 

Increased Productivity: If you have a long work day ahead of you or you're working on a big project, start your day with a run or workout to help focus your thoughts. We both find that morning activities make us feel better...even when we don't feel like waking up to do them. By the time we head into work, we're ready for a productive day.

A Sense of Belonging: Thanks to the City Fit Girls community, we never feel alone on our fitness and wellness journey. So when the going gets tough, it's always nice to see our community at a workout, run, or connecting online. 

Better Sleep Habits: For the most part, we both get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I find that on days I workout, I sleep MUCH better than the days I don't. If we're ever having trouble with sleep, apps like Headspace are really helpful. 

While there is no one way to use exercise in order to manage mental health, we hope that you'll find a workout or routine that offers mental health benefits for you too. And when times get too hard, remember, it's okay to seek help from a professional