Get On Your Feet

Get On Your Feet

There ​are countless number of benefits to exercising. It is not only an essential component in keeping our body fit and healthy, it also helps to relief stress, calms the mind and improves your mood.

The human body is designed to stay physically active as long as it can function normally. In the process of doing so, the mind is kept active too. Who’s the boss anyway? It’s the brain. Therefore, during an exercise regime, not only the body is required to work out, it also requires the brain to play a significant role in concentrating, remembering a series of actions and decide when to execute each move properly.

Mental Benefits of Exercise

Dr Lim Yun Chin, Specialist in Psychological Medicine & Consultant, Raffles Counselling Centre, shares a list of reasons how your mental health can benefit through physical exercise.

  • A good diverter – Exercise is a great way to break the vicious cycle of negative thoughts that makes one anxious or depress, as it helps the mind to focus on executing the necessary moves. It is definitely a much better strategy by helping the mind to concentrate on something positive.
  • Provides a sense of achievement – It brings you satisfaction and boost your confidence when an exercise goal, no matter big or small, is met. Keeping in shape also helps one to feel more confident about his or her appearance.
  • Improves sleep – Getting quality sleep can be a real blessing. Studies have shown that exercise improves daytime sleepiness and decreases fatigue.
  • Good feeling released – Beneficial neurotransmitters like endorphins and serotonin are released in the body during exercising, thus helping to relieve stress and even ease depression. It can also help reduce our perception of pain.
  • Keeps you calm​

Let’s Get Practical

It may be difficult to start an exercise regime when you are feeling depressed or have a mental issue. Take baby steps to get the momentum started by slowly building it up to maintain a consistent exercise regime. You will surely reap a reward if you stick to it long enough.

In this issue, we focus on the benefits of aerobic workout that not only keeps you physically in shape but also aids in keeping you mentally healthy. Aerobic exercise refers to cardio activities that focus on strengthening the lungs and heart as well as improving oxygen flow in the body.

There are two groups of aerobic exercise: Low and high impact.

Lower Impact Higher Impact
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Using and elliptical trainer
  • Performing aerobic routine in shallow water
  • Jumping rope
  • Running
  • Performing high impact routines or step aerobics
  • Kick boxing

Have you been sitting too long on that couch or chair? It’s time to work those legs and hips. ​Here are som simple aerobic moves that you can do in the comfort of your own home or in the office. Turn on a little fast-paced music to go along.

Box Step

This is a basic step move in aerobics.

  1. To do this, begin by placing your feet together. Imagine a V-shape in front of you.
  2. With each leg, step outwards in a v-shape and return to the starting position. Alternate legs after a few repetitions.

Hamstring Curl

This move requires you to pull your leg towards your rear at a time.

  1. Place your feet shoulder width apart. Begin by placing your right foot to the right; then pull your left foot up to your rear.
  2. Next, step your left foot to the left and pull your right foot up to your rear.

To increase intensity and difficulty, repeat the movement in a faster pace or carry some weights in your hands. You can also add some simple hand movement as you do your curls by either lifting them up or pulling them horizontally towards you.

Half Jack

Instead of a full jack, this is a low impact version that involves taking each leg outwards to alternate side at a time.

  1. Starting with the right leg, extend it to the right and at the same time, raise your right hand overhead reaching upwards.