We all know exercise is good for us. It help keeps weight in check, makes us stronger, and keeps us feeling youthful and staying active into old age. But did you know that exercise can also make you happier?
It’s true. Whether you’re 9 or 90, abundant evidence shows exercise can enhance your health and well-being. When you work out and stay active on a regular basis, it’s not just a coincidence that you feel less stressed out, less anxious and generally happier. But for many people, sedentary pastimes, such as watching TV, surfing the Internet, or playing computer and video games have replaced more active pursuits. Personal trainer Vharri Mcminn (pictured inset) agrees “No one ever regrets the workout they did! Even exercising once a week or for as little as 10 minutes a day tends to make us more cheerful than those who never exercise.”
But for many, the challenge of exercising is the lack of knowledge about what you’re supposed to be doing and how to make long-term changes to your life rather than quick fixes. This is where a personal trainer can help. Vharri, who opened her fitness studio at North Berwick’s bespoke Business Centre, The Lighthouse, in March last year has been helping clients improve their fitness, health and happiness for over 15 years. She explains “People come to me with an aim of exercising to help lose weight. But I want to take this further and expand their knowledge so they are able to improve their overall well being, increase their strength, improve posture as well as becoming fitter. I encourage clients to embrace healthy habits such as walking or cycling to work and taking packed lunches which include healthy nutritious foods. Small changes every day make a difference over the long term to both our health and happiness.”
As well as working from her studio, Vharri runs numerous sessions at North Berwick Sports Centre including Pilates and metafit, and exercise sessions at Archerfield Walled Garden each Thursday at 9.15am. For Lighthouse members she holds a Monday lunchtime class, further encouraging work place wellness. Vharri is also involved in the annual Detox Health Beauty day event and warms up the 5km and 10km sponsored runs at Archerfield Walled Garden.
Research suggests that physically active people have much lower risks of developing depression and anxiety than people who rarely move, resulting in a much bigger focus on exercise to help mental health. Vharri adds “It is very easy to get stuck in the office, at your desk, especially with the cold days and long nights. All the more reason to take a break at lunch, get yourself outside, wrap up and go for a walk, it does not need to be a run. Exercise can increase levels of endorphins (our feel good hormones), can help improve memory, boost sleep and general overall mood.”