Exercise as self-care in 2020

Finding time to exercise and making time for self-care are two challenges that many of us with busy lifestyles struggle to achieve. Whether you’re focusing on career, family, friends or all three, it’s easy for time to run away with us – and before you know it, it’s a new year.

But when it comes to making time for yourself and staying fit, exercise can fulfil both these needs in one workout session. We explore how to do this, and why it’s so beneficial for both physical and mental health – with some inside tips from presenter Emma Willis on her own attitude to fitness.

Making time for yourself is important for mental wellbeing

Even just one hour a week to yourself can help you to reflect, reset and re-energise. How to do this is different for every person – some might do it with a workout or meditation, others with a bath or a book, and others with a little retail therapy alone (we’re big fans of this one!).

Think about what helps you to recharge and, if you’re really struggling to find time, ask the other adults in your life to help you. We all deserve a few moments to ourselves; perhaps it’s possible to negotiate an exchange of time or responsibilities with someone to allow you to find this.

“Finding time for yourself every week is so important…That time for me is when I train,” explains Emma Willis. Despite both family and work commitments she’ll try and find time to exercise each week, adjusting her workout routine to allow for what’s possible (avoiding putting pressure on herself to train a certain amount).


Approaching exercise the right way (with the right workout wear!)

Exercise doesn’t have to mean sweating it out in the gym surrounded by super-fit dedicates. Even the gentlest of exercise can provide benefits, and incorporating just a little into your daily routine will have a gradual effect.

Consider exploring classes, game sports, or even just a brisk walk – anything that gets your heart rate up a little, or tires you out a bit. Start with thinking about why you want to exercise, and make sure it’s for the right reasons.

Emma is known for her fantastic presenting, great style and impressive fitness, but nonetheless she’s really clear that exercising isn’t about how she looks. “I’m not doing it to lose weight or look amazing, but to stay strong and stay able as I get older.”

If you need a little persuasion to get out the door, why not try Emma’s new workout range with Next? Everything comes in sizes 6-22 (or XS-XXL) and is made with high-performing sweat wicking material to support all kinds of workouts.

The physical, mental and social benefits of exercise

Anyone who has ever gone for a walk to clear their head can testify to the mental health benefits of a little exercise. Simply getting the body moving can bring us out of our heads, and focusing on your movement and breathing can be meditatively calming.

Once you start to exercise more, the physical benefits will soon make themselves known. The right amount of exercise will help you feel stronger, with more energy, and your mood is likely to improve through the release of endorphins. Supporting regular exercise with a healthy diet will boost these benefits even more!

And you never know, a new exercise class, sports team or walking route can even introduce you to new faces and friends.

Make sure you make time for yourself in 2020: with so many benefits, it’s worth putting in a little effort to do so.

Check out Emma’s new range with Next, online now, plus their latest in seasonal style at The Dolphin’s Next store.