Hi, my name is Ben Jones and for the past 3 years I have helped around 400 people reduce their symptoms of anxiety and depression using ‘flexible exercise’. I work as the fitness coordinator at one of the UK’s leading physiatrics hospitals and it’s my job to use exercise to reduce the nasty symptoms our patients suffer with.
Time and time again I meet a person suffering with depression and anxiety. I apply flexible exercise to their daily routine (amongst a few nutritional changes) and in time their symptoms reduce considerably. I do this by improving their ‘hormone harmony’. It’s actually pretty simple when you know how…
Firstly I’m going to give you the background of how and why I created it. It works by emptying the body of stress and causes the release of feel good hormones into your system, hence ‘hormone harmony’.
Time and time again people have come to me with the belief that they need to exercise for long periods of time to feel any benefits. These beliefs can be extremely detrimental and can actually stop someone from feeling better. These beliefs are not their fault, it’s mainly due to fitness industry painting an incorrect picture… harder the better etc!
Firstly if most people who are depressed or anxious exercised in this way it would make them feel a lot worse. This is due to the negative impact it has on your body’s cortisol (stress hormone, responsible for a lot of the nasty symptoms). Why put stress on an already over stressed body.
Secondly it can put someone off exercise and stop them unlocking the true potential of exercise as a de-stressor or antidepressant. Believe me, when used correctly it can decrease symptoms dramatically. I have seen it first hand and it’s a lot more effective than people realise.
So I researched the best exercise for depression and anxiety. People would come to me for an exercise session, and for a while I stuck to the recommendations of using mainly cardio exercise for 40 minutes or so. The results were ok but not life changing, people’s energy would pick up, probably due to an increase in endorphins, but the results wouldn’t last. I had a vision that exercise could be far more effective. So I researched a bit further into the very science explaining what causes the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Basically if you applied the correct type and intensity of exercise then the cortisol (stress hormone) would decrease, allowing the brain and body to de stress therefore lowering symptoms. So I started doing a lot shorter workouts 10-30 mins long. Over time it became clear that this is far more effective, as it was emptying the body of cortisol.
Furthermore I started being creative with the exercise selection. I found that a mix of methods which were more dynamic and interchangeable worked far better than monotonous cardio exercise alone. I believe this is due to the exercise being far more mentally stimulating and fun. This increased brain activity and increases the release serotonin (the feel good hormone, responsible for decreasing depression and anxiety).
My clients were getting fantastic results due to their improved ‘hormone harmony’ with a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in feel good hormones. Another benefit from this exercise technique was it could be done at any time of the day and fit in with someone’s symptoms, hence the name ‘flexible exercise’.
I believe exercise to be our greatest tool to relieve depression and anxiety. It allows someone to take responsibility which makes it incredibly empowering. It’s simply using the power of your body’s adaptation to exercise to make you feel better. It’s not emotionally draining and has no side effects. You can just get moving and do it. I’m not for one moment suggesting you shouldn’t try other therapies, but you should definitely use things like flexible exercise alongside them.
If you found this blog useful and want to find out more about flexible exercise, then check out my free email series called ‘Lifestyle Triggers’. In this series you will learn the power of something I call ‘Lifestyle Triggers’ I have used these to help hundreds of people relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. They work by emptying the body of stress hormones and increasing the reception of feel good neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). Check it out here.