Stair Climbing for Better Mental Health

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Teresa Leese; Total Motion Events; 10th October 2018                                                                         

It is a well-known and proven fact that exercise is extremely beneficial in helping to improve mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety... "Move the body, change the mind". So here are four reasons why taking up stair climbing could improve your mental health:                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  1. Endorphin rush

    Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s own natural anti-depressant, and given that stair climbing is a particularly vigorous and difficult form of exercise, you should get a nice big endorphin release post-session. Not only that, new research is now coming through about how exercise can create long-term structural changes in the brain helping to improve mood and cognition.
  1. Mindfulness

    Strip your mind of any worries or stresses by putting all of your focus into the stairs and getting into a relaxing 'flow state'. Total Motion Towerrunner, Chiara says “I really find stairs quite relaxing for the mind. I just focus on each step, one at a time, putting one foot in front of another and breathing, entering a sort of mindfulness, with nothing on my mind except that next step”. Similar to the end of a yoga session, you can practice clearing your mind of all thoughts except one, the stairs 
  1. Better Sleep

    If you struggle to sleep because of depression or anxiety, you mind find that climbing some stairs a couple of times a week for half an hour helps. Research has shown that exercising regularly can help to improve the quality of sleep as well as the quantity. We’re not trying to put you off here, but climbing stairs multiple times is not easy! In fact it is very demanding on the body, so you can be pretty sure after a tough session you will sleep better that night. 
  1. Friendship

    Suffering with a mental illness can be lonely and isolating so having a hobby and feeling part of a team can really help. Our Total Motion Towerruners travel the country, continent and world together attending various races and exploring new places. We also meet once a week for training in London, a very informal hour giving you access to 35 floors alongside a bunch of fun and friendly people. We encourage anyone of any ability to come along and give it a go. 

We are not saying that stair climbing is better for your mental health than any other type of exercise, nor that it will work for you as everyone is different, but it’s good fun (with a bit of hard work) and something new to try your hand at – so really, what have you got to lose?!

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