This summer has been an active one for me and I’m calling it “Active August” because it has been filled with tons of activities including: running, biking, blading, and walking (all familiar to me) as well as basketball, tennis, hiking, and paddle boarding (all newer to me). As I climbed mountains, skated on pathways, and zoomed down hills, I came to realize how much I love being active and outside and how healthy and happy I feel when I’m an Active Girl!
I know that being active is beneficial for physical health, and, throughout the sunny summer months, I was also able to consider and learn how activity contributes to my social, emotional, and mental health.
Socially, activities can help us connect with friends (or make friends) as we can easily suggest for others to come join us in our fun. I find that we can align with others by finding people who do similar activities as we do. And we can also try to connect with others who do activities that are new to us. It’s a bit of a risk to learn a new skill or find a new friend but I have experienced the fun in doing so and in making new connections – and it’s so worth it!
Emotionally, activities can help us release a lot of stress, anxiety, and negative thought patterns or feelings. When I am active I know that I am often “working through” a problem or a bad day and getting rid of my negative energy and toxins. I am also embracing positive energy and becoming more aware and present so I am able to sort out my stuff. After an activity and revving up my endorphins and adrenalin, I always feel healthier! And this definitely beats sitting at home, wallowing in self-pity.
Finally, I think activity is great for mental health as we learn to take risks and break through mental obstacles, grow in confidence (and competence) and feel good about ourselves, nurture our self-esteem and grow in our self worth, trust ourselves (and our bodies) as we learn new skills, and embrace healthy habits like exercising and eating well to seek greater life balance. *If mental health concerns persist, please tell someone you trust and see a professional for help.
I feel the benefits of being an Active Girl are numerous. Here are a few: increases strength and stamina, improves health and fitness, can prevent sickness, promotes positive body image, decreases stress and anxiety, and can improve self-confidence and self-esteem. Get started! Get moving! And embrace the Active Girl inside of you!