If you’re looking at ways to boost your confidence before getting back into the dating scene, exercising regularly is a great way to start. Exercise increases the amount of endorphins in the brain, which gives you the feel-good factor and can put you in a more positive frame of mind to start the search for a new partner.
Regular physical activity can also:
- increase your energy levels
- improve your self-esteem
- give you a greater sense of control over your life
- distract you from your worries
- give you a sense of personal achievement
- help you to sleep better.
The good news is that exercise doesn’t have to be hardcore to make a difference – even a half-hour brisk walk five times a week can make a big difference.
New Zealand Government guidelines recommend that adults:
- Do at least 2 ½ hours of moderate or 1 ¼ hours of vigorous physical activity spread through the week.
- For extra health benefits, aim for 5 hours of moderate or 2 ½ hours of vigorous physical activity spread through the week.
- Do muscle-strengthening activities on at least 2 days a week.
- Sit less, move more! Break up long periods of sitting.
- Remember that any physical activity is better than nothing.
If it’s difficult to find time to fit a walk, bike ride or gym class into a busy day, experts suggest splitting workouts into ‘snacktivity’ breaks – for example, having several short walks rather than one long one.
Music can help to make exercise more fun, but be careful what you put on your playlist. A study by researchers at Brunel University in London found that certain types of music work better for certain types of workout.
The researchers suggest:
- for running, try urban or rap music – the beat maintains momentum and the lyrics can be motivating
- for warm-ups and cools downs, try pop music – the steady pace may help
- for weight training, try dance music
- avoid rock – the frequent changes in tempo can affect the rhythm of your workout.
But some exercisers find music isn’t enough to keep them motivated because they can listen to it any time. If that’s the case for you, maybe you should try an audiobook.
A study by researchers from the Wharton School and Harvard Kennedy School in the US found that members of a gym who were given page-turner audiobooks to listen to during their workouts exercised half as much again as those who didn’t.
The secret is to choose audiobooks you love and keep them solely for your workouts, rather than letting yourself listen to them at home or in the car.
If you’re looking for a great audiobook to listen to on your next walk or weight training session, you can’t go wrong with the taut Paula Hawkins thriller The Girl on the Train, actor Rob Lowe’s funny and moving Stories I Only Tell My Friends, Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, or Caitlin Moran’s witty How to be a Woman.
This article is brought to you by FindSomeone’s Bootcamp for Better Dating – a free week by week programme written by relationship expert John Aiken and delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to findsomeone.co.nz any time between January and April of 2016 to get started!