Updated: Mar 27, 2021
Exercise is empowering and rewarding and so important for mental health. I exercise daily, including 2 training sessions a week. A good training session always leaves me with a sense of achievement and purpose, and I feel great for the rest of the day.
Of course, it played a large very role in my eating disorder, but I am overcoming this and exercise is no longer about control or changing my body – it is here to help me, it should be relaxing, restorative and fun. Exercise is a brilliant tool for overcoming negative thoughts, anxiety and all troubles. For me personally, the strength I feel from exercise fights the downgrading effects of some of my traumas. It is a good form of mindfulness, especially walking.
As much as I love the gym, walking has to be my favourite source of exercise. My love of walking began in 2014, together with a new zest for life. I loved nature and a simple walk in the park could be so wonderful. Before long, I was hiking 20 miles in the beautiful countryside. And eventually, I was climbing mountains.
I discovered my love of mountains in 2015 when I decided to try something new. I found a hiking group on Meetup and decided to join them on a trip to Slovenia. It was one of the best trips of my life, and I couldn’t have felt luckier in regards to the people and the scenery. Everyone was very friendly, humorous and we all shared a love of exploring. I’ve been travelling with this fab group ever since.
There is nothing I enjoy more than reaching a summit in once piece and taking in the breathtaking views. My favourite hiking trip ever was Patagonia in 2019. The views were spectacular, actually tear-jerking. And on this trip, I met my soulmate: a 60 year old American man, who taught me that age is nothing – set your goals and achieve them.
But my greatest achievement was reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro in February 2020. It felt extraordinary and I have never been happier. My sense of fulfillment was as high as the mountain itself!
Whatever your form of exercise, make it work for you – listen to your body, set your goals, feel proud of yourself, and have fun!