Mental Health and Exercise


Right that’s out of the way, some of you are reading that and thinking ‘Ah he’s biased’. And You’re right I am, I am biased toward things that make people happy, like working out, talking with friends and having sex. Not in that order necessarily. Although it is indeed enjoyable to get a pump before you hump, so hit the iron and do your thing.

Working out and having sex release endorphin’s, which we all know make us happy, that’s why we crave sex. It’s also why people who exercise regularly become almost addicted. At first exercise isn’t great, you are poor at it, it hurts, it’s not very enjoyable and you don’t enjoy immediate results. But sex is the exact same. Literally, reread that sentence and remember your first time, especially if you lost your virginity to another virgin.

Now we all know we enjoy sex, apart from those of you who don’t enjoy sex, obviously. I just use sex because it has a similar way of life to exercising. Start poor, don’t enjoy it great, keep doing it, get better, enjoy it more, crave it daily. Exercise is the exact same.

Now leaving sex behind because I’m aware many of you won’t be sexually active or enjoy sex. If that’s the case think of your hobby, your piano, guitar, football, writing, whatever it is you do, when you began you were crap, you got better, you enjoyed it more, you now crave it.

Now it’s good to have these things to occupy our minds. Whether you do music, writing, painting, singing, reading, animal care, whatever, you are helping your mental health. However exercise is important. Forget about all the axiomatic health benefits that you already know and realise this, we are animals. You wouldn’t not walk your dog, it would be animal cruelty. You’re the same, just because we have evolved to be able to entertain ourselves without ever leaving the sofa doesn’t mean that that is healthy.

It’s not. You need to get out of your house! (If you are agoraphobic follow this link for an at home workout routine that will totally kill your muscles, burn fat and make you look great!) You need to increase your heart rate, you need to get your blood flowing. By exercising you not only release endorphin’s, but you feel a sense of achievement for not sitting on your ass all day. You develop pride in your body image, and believe me as somebody who has poor body image it’s bloody important to help yourself feel good about how you look.

Humans are grazing animals, you may be surprised to know, three square meals a day isn’t how we are meant to eat. We are meant to go out in a group and hunt an animal, we burn thousands of calories doing this because humans can’t obviously just kill a Wooly Mammoth so how do we kill it? We stab it with spears and arrows and then we follow it for miles and miles until it either bleeds to death or dies of exhaustion.

This sounds awful to us now but before supermarkets that’s how we got our food. So it could take a day of walking after the animal for it to die so you’ve burned thousands of calories. Then we would sit down and eat the animal while we also eat some of the fruit we foraged along the way.

We had to earn our meals and get our blood flowing. We are animals that have evolved to travel massive distances but we have become lazy with technology. But being such advanced animals we must occupy ourselves with things other than television. We must challenge ourselves. Previously you would have a sense of achievement at killing the animal and you and your tribe would sit around for days eating the animal, all day long. Because we are grazers.

Not anymore, we inhale shit food, then wash it down with carcinogenic and mood altering drinks, our foods have hormones that affect our mood, it’s full of sugars that affect our energies and then we don’t get up and go run or lift weights, or swim etc.

It’s totally unnatural and it will obviously affect your mood. How to counteract this is so obvious it’s painful. You need to eat better, eat meat that is low in fat, eat leafy greens, eat bright coloured food. Eat healthy. And get off your ass!

Join a judo club, do martial arts, running, football, swimming, walking club, hiking, cycling, hurling (if you don’t know what hurling is, YouTube it and be amazed at what the Irish do for sport). Whatever you do, get off your ass and move, it’s not just good for your body, it’s good for your confidence and your mind. A healthy body and healthy mind isn’t a lie, it’s fact. You need to move, eat less, move more and use it to help yourself improve your mood.

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