Women’s Health Week – Keeping Active to Connect Mind and Body

Today marks the start of Women’s Health Week 2020 (7th – 11th September) and Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is encouraging women this awareness week to use exercise as a chance to connect their mind and body.

“Women take on a number of roles in life, from mothers caring for families to high flying executives, and these roles can add extra stresses and strains to an already complex life,” says Anita Hobson-Powell, CEO of ESSA. 

“Exercise is an excellent way to help women focus their thoughts and release the stress of life. Movement allows us to remove ourselves from the constant churn of life and gives us a moment to concentrate on the simple activities of breathing and bringing attention to our bodies.”

“This Women’s Health Week we are encouraging Aussie women to move their bodies for themselves and their mental health. Movement can come in many forms and can be as simple as a 20-minute run, however, that run will provide an extensive amount of benefits for your mind.”

There is mounting evidence to show the strong connection between exercise and a healthy mind. Running can reduce anxiety symptoms and reduce the symptoms of clinical depression. Running is also linked with greater self-esteem and can improve the quality of our sleep.

On top of this, research has shown that the physical benefits of running for just 5 to 10 minutes at a moderate pace each day may include:

  • reduced risk of death from heart attack or stroke
  • reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • lowered risk of developing cancer
  • lowered risk of developing neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

“Exercise shouldn’t be motivated by weight-loss or gaining that bikini body. Exercise is about moving and enjoying your body and what it can do. Personally, when I run, I run for me and no one else. It’s my time alone to reconnect with myself, my thoughts and my body,” says Anita.

If you want to start moving your body more and you have any underlying health concerns, don’t forget to get in touch with an ESSA accredited exercise professional first, as this is the best way to assist in the prevention of any injuries and serious health concerns. You can find an exercise professional in your area via the ESSA online directory.

Another resource that can help is ESSA’s Exercise & Women’s Health eBook which discusses the benefits of exercise for a wide range of women’s health conditions. You can download it for free here.

I run for me