April 28, 2022

Moving for your Mental Health with Leo

We chatted with Leo about the importance of movement to support your mental health.

We all know that moving our body feels amazing for our mental health, but what’s really going on BTS in our bodies? What mental health benefits are we actually achieving from exercise?

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help with your mental wellbeing. Have you ever felt down then decided to do a workout and all of a sudden you feel better? When we workout our bodies release chemicals including endorphins and serotonin that help improve your mood! Long story short, exercise is a great tool to use when you need a mood booster.

What type of KIC exercises would you recommend when we’re feeling...

Anxious:

Look to complete a Bootcamp workout in your KIC app with me! My recommendation is my TABATA Sweat Session With Steph. The workout features short sharp intervals that target all your muscle groups and so is a great workout to distract your mind and have it focus on the workout at hand.

Low/Depressed:

Pilates is always a good call for when you’re feeling down. It’ll give you that burn without entirely depleting your energy like a HIIT workout would. My recommendation from the KIC app is Cardio Climber with Mari – it’s a great full body workout.

Stressed:

Whenever you’re feeling stressed, making time to fit in a workout can often sound like the worst idea, but like I’ve mentioned above, it’ll actually help to boost your mood. For those stressful times, I recommend completing a Low Impact workout. A personal favourite of mine from the KIC app is the Whole Body Workout with Brooke.

Angry:

One of the best ways to combat feelings of anger is by doing something that acts as a bit of time out. Yoga is such a good workout for that. I recommend doing the Peaceful Minds Flow with Steph in the KIC app whenever you need a little moment to regroup and recompose yourself.

When we are feeling down and lacking motivation to move, what are your tips to get moving?

This is something I still wrestle with on a weekly basis – when I get to low points is usually try and take time to reflect on some of the things I’m am grateful for in life and try to us that as a source to get moving. I set alarms at points throughout the day to remind to get up and go for a walk or if I have time squeeze in a mini workout.

Whether it’s breathing, meditation or stretching, what are some tools we can use throughout the day to enhance our mental health?

I’m a big fan of meditation I do this often and it’s something I’ve always encouraged those around me to incorporate as well.  You can actually give mediation a red hot go this May with KIC’s Meditate in May challenge. Some other things I try to do is take a moment away from what’s going on in my world and perhaps check in with a friend to see how they are going.

When we’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed by work, life and social commitments, sometimes it’s hard to prioritise movement. Do you have any advice?

First things first, it’s totally okay to feel overwhelmed from time to time especially coming out of a global pandemic where our social anxiety is at an all time high.

When things get tough/hard go back to the basics and opt for simpler movement like walking, a  KIC pilates class or a KIC Yoga flow. Then, when you’re feeling more under control and the time is right for you, choose a workout that will push you a little harder, perhaps a bootcamp class with me, a run or a HIIT session.

The most important thing is to move in a way that makes you feel good and that choose a workout style that you enjoy. 

Do you set intentions for your workouts, and if so, how do you do this?

I actually don’t to be honest. Our bodies are amazing and wonderful things, some workouts I feel invincible and can do heaps other workouts I’m thinking about getting to the end. I try not to put too much pressure on myself and just really lean into the fact I have an able body that can move and sweat!

Leo Forchin