Throughout the month of November, I attempted to complete a daily exercise challenge in aid of raising awareness for Men’s Health. Most people know November as ‘Movember’ where males grow moustaches to promote testicular cancer as well as other illnesses that can affect males.
Deciding to do something slightly different, I set about completing a form of exercise every day throughout November whilst researching into the benefits that exercise can have on the body, especially in Males. Already being a gym member, I used this as an opportunity to try new and different sports or exercises, as well as seeing it as a chance to meet new people too.
As the month began, with the determination of completing my challenge ahead I set about signing up to new classes, talking to different gym instructors and searching what exercise is available in the local area. I was excited by trying some of the things that I’d always been cautious of doing. Dragging friends along with me was a great way of overcoming any anxiety that was felt about being the ‘newbie’ of the group.
After 2 weeks of sticking to the challenge I felt great. I had more energy, was sleeping better, I felt more focused and didn’t want to eat unhealthily as to undo all the good work that I was doing. I’d met loads of new people and my confidence was continuing to improve. I felt like I could deal with anything and my stress levels had all but disappeared. And then it happened.
Suddenly my workload increased and I struggled to prioritise the challenge ahead of the ever increasing list of jobs that needed to be done. Like most people, I started to make excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise ‘I’ve got this to do first …” “I’ll do it after this …” and before I knew it I’d missed a few days of exercise and my health began to suffer. I got more stressed, struggled to sleep and started craving unhealthy food again (luckily I didn’t succumb). My energy levels were reduced as all of my energy was being used on worrying and working, as a result my social life and good mood disappeared too.
Once I realised this, I re-focused and set about building my life around exercise and self-wellbeing rather than trying to build exercise into my life. I’m now back on track with my exercise regime and spending the extra 30 minutes a day to exercise and re-focus my mind, allows me to stay focused for the rest of the day and improves my general mood.
In short, although I didn’t complete exercise every day, I certainly learnt more about my personal health and wellbeing. Firstly, that it’s important to stay fit and active, not just for your physical health but your mental health too. Secondly that there's never an excuse not to look after yourself, your work and personal life will benefit significantly from taking a little time for yourself.