Postnatal A-Z: E for Exercise to boost your mental health
If you've been following my posts, you'll know that this is a topic very close to my heart. I have no doubt that one of the reasons I was able to get through postnatal depression was regular exercise, especially the outdoor kind.
We know thanks to research that exercise releases feel-good hormones that improve our mood and reduce anxiety as well as helping us concentrate better, remember things more clearly and sleep more soundly at night.
Exercise also plays an important part in strengthening our immune system. In the case of new mums, the sleep deprivation is a very real challenge and for me at least, counter-balancing that with some exercise was often the only way I could get through the day.
Exercise helps to take the edge off and reduces cortisol levels in our blood stream when we're angry or stressed - another great reason for exercising regularly. As mums get such disrupted sleep, I recommend gentler exercise in the early days to avoid putting additional stress on the system. There will be plenty more occasions to train for that marathon or join that Bootcamp!
If you have a small garden or are able to get to a park to exercise, you will also be getting important vitamin D as well as fresh air which will help to boost your immune system. At Buggyfit we've always been an outdoor class regardless of the weather and many of you who've been to a class will know how good it feels to workout outdoors come hail or shine. And very soon we'll be back out in the park again!