My wellbeing story: Jonny Green, Director of Asset Management


Category: Blog

Jonny Green wellbeing story

In this wellbeing story, Jonny Green, Director of Asset Management, shares his exercise routine and how it helps his mental health and wellbeing.

I have always enjoyed sport and exercise from a young age, although it has not been until I have become older that I have fully realised the benefits. There are the obvious physical health benefits of exercise, for example helping with weight control and having a healthy heart. For me however, the bigger benefits in this wellbeing story are mental. Many of us live in a world where we are trying to juggle busy jobs and family life. Exercise is my time-out to reset. If I have had a stressful day at work (or home!), I find 40-mins or an hour of exercise can completely change my mood. I sometimes put my earphones in, listen to rock music and go to a different place which takes my mind away from the stresses I am dealing with. I feel more relaxed, I sleep better and generally feel better about life. Exercise releases endorphins which triggers a positive feeling in the body.

Playing sports isn’t just about fitness, it can help you to build a social circle too

When I first moved to Birmingham I joined squash and rugby clubs and in doing so I made many new friends, which was good at the time as I knew no one moving to a new area. Later in life I took up cycling and again joined a club and again made new friends. Having a group to exercise with gives me encouragement and can also help with a routine.

Don’t be scared to get started, people are more welcoming at the gym than you might think

I think having a routine either within a group or on your own helps. It is very easy to be in the routine of not exercising, however you may be surprised if you do plan a routine for exercise, how easy it is to stick to once you get over the hurdle of starting. Many people think joining a club or a gym can be daunting, although in my experience if you take the plunge, you may find that it is much easier and people are more welcoming than you think.

You can start small and gradually increase your distances and times – I didn’t just jump on a bike and cycle 100-miles straight away!

When I first started cycling, I thought five miles was a long way to go. I then started to progressively do more miles, until I was asked to do a 100-mile sportive which was very daunting at the time. However, I did it and this gave me confidence and I ended up cycling from Lands End to John o’ Groats. I am not saying that everyone should cycle the length of the country, but my point is that you will be surprised what you can do and may also notice other benefits like losing weight or feeling better about yourself. Start slow and build up. You can also do indirect exercise. Try walking instead of getting a bus or a taxi, take the stairs instead of the lift. Within Logistics we have been running a group exercise participate event. This has been good fun and also encouraged team members to exercise.

You will probably have to make some compromises to fit exercise into your life

You may be thinking you don’t have time to fit exercise into your life. You probably can but just need to make some adjustments. At the weekends I often get up early to exercise, which means I often go to bed earlier the night before (and have one less drink). I have two young children, so I also do a tag team with my wife who will go for a run when I get back and I can then take over at home. We are not a health-obsessed family and do enjoy some of the vices in life. However, it is about trying to find a balance and if you exercise more, you feel less guilty and have more latitude to do some of the enjoyable things.

From my personal experience if you are thinking about joining a Park Run, a gym, a club or simply going for a walk – Try it! You may surprise yourself as to how much you enjoy it and also notice many benefits from doing so.

Jonny’s Top 5 exercise benefits!

  1. It can make you feel happier and boost self-esteem – Exercise changes my mood in a positive way. I often feel like I have had a weight lifted off my shoulders, I also feel calmer and like I have more energy to take on the world after completing an exercise session.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  2. It can help with weight loss – I have a Polar (smart) watch which I find really useful to benchmark my activity. If I don’t move from my desk the activity graph on the watch hardly registers. When I exercise, I can see my daily activity and calorie count increase. An obvious point but the more activity I do, the more weight I lose. Activity does not have to be going to the gym it can be walking, gardening, cleaning, playing with my children or to a point, whatever you want it be.
  3. It can help your brain health and memory – I find I have a clearer head and function better at work and am also more engaged with my family after exercise.
  4. It can help with relaxation and sleep – I find that after exercise I have a better and deeper sleep.
  5. Social benefits – I have met and enjoyed exercise and sport with many people over the years, who I would count as some of my closest friends.

In summary, that’s my wellbeing story and my top 5 exercise benefits. I hope this encourages you to try adding exercise to your routine and discover your own wellbeing story.