Research has also found that exercise improves the quality of our sleep, helping us to feel less sluggish and sleepy throughout the day. (Sleep is also important for improving the quality of your exercise – a 2013 study found that people who had slept poorly found their workouts suffered.)
‘Movement doesn’t just make us more energised, it actually decreases our fatigue as well,’ says Kate.
‘People start to realise that after the gym, they’re going to feel better, they’re going to sleep better, they’re going to be nicer to the people around them; there are so many more benefits than just going in to look better.’
If you’re keen to experience the mood-altering benefits of exercise but wondering where to start, don’t worry – you don’t have to jump straight in to the sort of training routine that would make Usain Bolt sweat.
‘Try to start with two or three times a week, and then build off the back of that,’ says Kate.
‘It doesn’t matter what you like to do – whether it’s … yoga, or higher-intensity training, or a mix – do that, because if you love it you’re going to do it more.
If you’re tight on time simply aim to get up and about more, says Kate, and your body will soon start to feel the benefits.
‘You might only have the luxury of going to the gym or doing a class a few times a week, but on the other days you might take your kids to the park and run around. That’s still being active.’
Exercise keeps our mind fresh, our energy levels up and gives us more capacity to relax at the end of a long day. Our bodies were made to move, and whether you you’re training for a half marathon or you just want to be able to get through the afternoon without dreaming of your doona, take the time to get up and get energised – so at the end of the day you can truly sit back and relax.