During these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to find motivation to stay consistent with healthy eating and exercise routines. However, it’s more important than ever right now to get up and break a sweat when everyone is stuck inside and feeling down about the ongoing situation. Moving the body and getting the blood flowing does wonders for one’s mental health. Rodrigo Garduño, the founder of 54D, shared insight into why exercise is just as beneficial for the mind as it is for the body.
“Exercise and movement are key components of our mental well-being. Being active helps the body generate endorphins and increase oxytocin levels which in turn makes you feel good by improving your self-esteem and confidence,” Garduño said.
Although we may be tempted to ignore working out and would rather stay sedentary on the couch to make us feel better during trying times, that can do more harm than good for you. “When we live a sedentary lifestyle, not only do we become more vulnerable to physical ailments, but it can also really have a negative impact on our mental health,” Garduño told. “People who work out regularly or simply incorporate light activities into their daily lives notice a positive difference in their mental state.”
“Staying active is one of the most effective ways to combat anxiety, clear the mind, and boost positive thinking. Don’t worry what your fitness level is, everyone starts somewhere. Once you commit yourself to being active and develop good, consistent habits, you will see tremendous improvements in your energy levels, mood and overall mindset,” Garduño continued.
Garduño also said that we should use this stressful time in our lives to teach us about resilience and show ourselves what we’re actually capable of. “My experience as a professional athlete has taught me that discipline is the most important component when looking to accomplish anything in life. We are all going through very difficult and stressful times, and it‘s easy to lose focus and motivation. But this is the perfect time to learn about resilience.”
When it comes to our goals, Garduño advises to take it each day at a time. “Stop aiming for perfection and aim for progress. I find that so many people are afraid of failing that they never get started or get stuck in a planning phase as opposed to springing into action. The key is to take things one step at a time, one day at a time. Don‘t let all these external factors keep you from achieving your personal or professional goals. Take the first step and always try to be better than yesterday.”