Start Exercising to improve your Mental Health with these 6 easy tips16 Jan, 2023
Did you know that exercise can significantly improve your mental health? Read the full article on how to exercise for good mental health and wellbeing.
Relation between physical activity and mental health
Studies have shown that daily exercise can contribute to better mental health and well-being. It also decreases the risks of the brain getting affected by mental illnesses.
The impact of exercise on mental health cannot be understated. Not only does it improve mood, concentration, and alertness, but also cardiovascular and overall physical health. Furthermore, scientific studies suggest that it can be helpful in treating conditions like depression and anxiety. In fact, for depression specifically, research suggests that physical activity can be just as effective as antidepressants or psychological treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy.
Quick Read Section:
- Exercise is important for maintaining mental health and wellbeing.
- It can also help to prevent or treat some mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
- Getting in shape can make you feel better about your appearance and help you to manage stress in a healthy way.
- Engaging in physical activities increases blood flow to the brain, which can improve your ability to think clearly.
It is important to exercise daily for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Lack of physical activity can lead to the body and the mind becoming vulnerable to various diseases. Your daily exercise routine does not necessarily have to consist of vigorous physical activity and stretch on for long hours. Any form of exercise is good for your body as well as your mind.
How does exercise improve mood?
Exercise improves your mood by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. Additionally, it can help you connect with others, get out into the world, and lessen any feelings of isolation and loneliness. Regular exercise can help you recover from mental health illnesses by reducing stress and the symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can improve your ability to think clearly. It also shields your brain from mental illness and damage.
Benefits of exercise on mental health
These are some of the neurological and emotional benefits of exercise. It can help you:
- Boost your self-esteem
Exercising regularly can help to boost your self-confidence and improve your overall mental wellbeing. Meeting new challenges, even small ones, can help you to feel more confident in yourself. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance and help you to manage anxiety or depression in a healthy way.
- Improves cognitive functioning
Exercise has many benefits for mental health, including improved cognition for children and reduced anxiety for adults. Regular exercise can help keep your learning and reasoning skills sharp as you age. It also reduces your risk of falling into depression and anxiety and improves quality of sleep.
- Weight Control
Both diet and exercise are important factors in weight management. You gain weight when you consume more calories than you burn, including those burned through physical activity. There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much physical activity you need for weight management. However, most experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. This could include activities such as dancing or yard work. By doing 30 minutes of physical activity per day in a week, you should be able reach this goal.
Losing weight and keeping it off can be a challenge, but it is achievable. Regular physical activity and healthy eating are both key components of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Start making small changes in your lifestyle. It can have a big impact on your health
- Reduces the risk of diseases
Diseases affecting the cardiovascular system are some of the leading causes of death worldwide. However, engaging in exercise for at least 150 minutes per week can help reduce your risk of developing heart diseases. Additionally, regular exercise can also help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is some combination of too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, low high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high blood sugar. People start to see benefits at levels from physical activity even without meeting the recommendations for 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. Additional amounts of physical activity seem to lower risk even more.
According to research, being physically active on a consistent basis can help to reduce your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of having too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high blood sugar. Even without meeting the recommendations for 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity, people can still start to see benefits from lower levels of activity. Exercise also lowers your risk for developing several common cancers.
- Strengthens your body
It is important to keep your bones, joints and muscles healthy, especially as you age. This will enable you to do your daily activities and stay physically active. Muscle-strengthening activities such as lifting weights can help maintain your muscle mass and strength. This is especially important for older adults, who lose muscle mass and muscle strength with aging.
How does exercise help depression and anxiety?
Exercise has many benefits, including improving mental health. Getting started with it can be difficult, but it is worth it. Scientific evidence points that exercise can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise may also help keep depression and anxiety from coming back once a person is feeling better. Regular exercise may help ease depression and anxiety through release of endorphins and other natural brain chemicals that help improve mood.
Exercise raises your body temperature which helps reduce stress levels and improves sleep quality. Neurotransmitters that are involved in mood, such as serotonin and dopamine, are also increased with raised body temperature. Exercise helps you take your mind off worries and break the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.
How does lack of exercise affect your mental health?
There exists a correlation between your physical activity and mental health, which can affect you in the long run. Research studies have found that lack of exercise ultimately leads to loss of energy, depressive symptoms, and mood swings. Engaging in exercise can improve the quality of your life and improve your sleep and mood temperaments. Exercise also reduces stress and the risk of falling prey to chronic heart diseases, cancers, diabetes and other mental illnesses.
Exercise tips to improve mental health
The following are some exercise tips that you can adopt to improve your mood and mental health:
1. Do what you love
Exercise doesn’t always have to involve stretching, holding weights, and extremely difficult poses. Your daily exercise routine can also include physical activities you enjoy, like gardening, jogging, or even a walk through the park.
2. Make exercise a small part of your daily routine
Take small steps towards your exercise goals daily by taking the stairs instead of the lift, cycling to work, or anything else that gets you up on your feet. Engaging in activities you love will help you stay motivated and will help you remain stress-free.
3. Get guidance and support
If you’re unsure on how to get started with your exercise routine, seek professional help. Talk to your doctor or mental health counselor for guidance on what physical activities to participate in. They will design a routine based on your specific needs and treatment plan.
4. Set realistic goals
Your exercise routine does not always have to involve walking around the block or lifting dumbbells. Plan a routine based on what outcome you want to achieve and curtail it according to your own abilities and needs. Don’t think of exercise as another chore to fulfill, but rather as a tool that will help your life get better.
5. Overcome your obstacles
Understand your goals and figure out what is stopping you from exercising. If getting self-conscious at the gym is the issue, then start working out at home, or even better workout with an exercise buddy. If the cost of buying exercise gear is the issue, you can always find cheaper but effective alternatives to expensive equipment.
6. Prepare to face setbacks
Appreciate yourself for how far along you’ve come. There will be setbacks due to priorities at work and other engagements. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying. Do not quit after skipping your routine one day. Try again the next day. Stick with your plan and eventually you will begin to see the difference.
Exercise improves mood and overall emotional health by lowering stress and depressive symptoms. It boosts your energy and enhances the quality of your sleep.
Exercise can improve your disposition, focus, and alertness. You might even benefit from having a more upbeat outlook on life. So, remember to take a walk the next time you are feeling stressed. Start exercising today to keep your mind safe and sane from the worries that tomorrow may bring.
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