It’s at times like this that the average North American finds that their physical activity falls to the bottom of the priority list.
But what would help is a bit more exercise.
Really. “Lack of time” is often cited as the number one reason why people don’t exercise, so it’s not too surprising that if you try to tell people that some exercise will reduce their stress, the response isn’t great. “You don’t seriously think that adding something else into my schedule is going to reduce my stress?”
Well, yes, I do, and here’s the argument why: across multiple research studies, physical activity is associated with positive mental health, including higher self-esteem, well-being and health-related quality of life.
I know all this. This is not news to me, and probably not to many of you either. Yet I’m still considering skipping soccer tonight, so that I can put another coat of Varathane on the kitchen cupboards. Knowing something doesn’t mean that you’re actually going to do it, as so many people in the health promotion business know.
But having written this, I’m pretty sure I’ll go to soccer practice tonight. It will be a struggle at the outset, but I have to remind myself that I generally come back after such an excursion with a much clearer head. Maybe I’ll be refreshed and less stressed, so that I’ll be able to figure out how to work that experience into an effective health promotion message.