Mental Health interrelated with both physical and mental wellbeing are equally important individually, however, together, they also go hand in hand. This article looks at the myriad of reasons why exercise is important for improving your long-term mental health.
Everybody out there knows that exercise is great for the body, but few people tend to make the link between exercise and mental wellbeing benefits. Did you know that just a few simple exercises a day can help with all sorts of factors relating to mental wellbeing? The most common are helping to cope with anxiety, depression, stress, and an increase in quality sleep.
Physical Gains and Depression
Very often, eyes are transfixed on muscle size and aerobic fitness, but health and happiness are key. Those who exercise on a regular basis do so because it boosts their mental health, and it’s a scientific fact that regular exercise can have profoundly positive effects on the mind. Research has shown that depression can be cured just as easily with exercise as with antidepressants, albeit without any harmful side effects. One study by Harvard University found that just a quarter of an hour run every day reduces depression risk by over 25%. Promising research has also shown that exercise prevents people from relapsing into depression spells or mental health problems.
Anxiety and stress mental health
All sorts of pathways are rewired in the brain when exercising, plus inflammation decreases and neural growth occurs. All of these things together are a powerful remedy for anxiety. Energy levels are boosted whilst relieving stress and tension. Endorphins are also released, particularly with aerobic exercise. These are a group of hormones released by the brain to make us feel good about something. Imagine that – your brain actually tells you that you are having a good time whilst exercising. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Have you ever felt the aching pains of stress on your body? Tension in your muscles, particularly the shoulders, face, and neck can leave you in hardship. Along with helping release endorphins in the brain, exercise can also help relieve the discomfort of any physical symptoms. This is important because any tightness, cramps, or physical stress can lead to further stress if not dealt with in a timely manner.
If you’re one whose mine has a tendency to wander, did you know that regular exercise is one of the most prominent ways of reducing ADHD symptoms? Physical activity can help one feel more motivated, concentrating better on tasks, and improving their memory. While the best health boost product will certainly help you stay awake, you need mental health focus too. As you engage in exercise, several hormones are secreted in the body, including norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. All of the aforementioned hormones are ones that boost a person’s attention and focus. Much safer and cheaper to run than buy Ritalin!
Trauma and PTSD
Exciting new evidence shows that exercising helps your nervous system move out of immobilizing stress responses, which bring about trauma symptoms and PTSD. Therapists recommend using exercise to guide one’s focus toward physical sensations in the body. This is a form of meditation that helps people feel more grounded and at one with what’s around them. Being outside and seeing nature while undertaking exercise is also proven to reduce PTSD symptoms, particularly in sports such as rock climbing, skiing, and mountain biking.
A Can-Do Attitude
Have you ever found yourself with a lack of resilience at times? Perhaps there have been some emotional challenges up until now, but exercise is key to coping with problems in a healthy way. It’s no wonder that therapists often recommend exercise to people struggling with drugs, alcohol, or other negative addictions. The instant effect on neurotransmitters in the brain, as well as a boost in immune response, reduce the impact of stress. It is important to invest in your body and mind, but you can do two things at once with exercise. This is great for those who struggle with self-esteem issues. When exercise becomes habitual, your sense of self-worth increases, and as goals are met, a sense of achievement comes along. Wonderful things for self-esteem and promoting a can-do attitude.
An Enormous Commitment?
If you’re wondering whether you’ll need to dedicate hours and hours of time every day towards exercise, even when it’s cold outside, then think again! By no means will you need to run laps till your legs turn blue – research shows that nearly 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five times a week is more than enough. You can even break this down into two sets of 15 minutes if it makes things easier.
When it comes to mental wellbeing factors, it is important to listen to what your body tells you. If you really feel the burn, it’s okay – slow down, and reduce the gas. Start with two-minute sessions and then slowly increment your time. The great thing is that the more you exercise, the easier it gets, and the more energy you will have over time. This energy can be devoted to increasing your activity from a small amount to the 30-minute mark. The best thing is to make a habit of it and devote a certain period of the day towards investment in your long-term health care plan. We are not advocating that you need to suffer in any way, shape, or form, but be patient and persevere in noticing the mental wellbeing impact.
Improve Your Mental Health Wellbeing with Regular Exercise
We hope to have shown you that the value of a small amount of moderate exercise or more every day can really bring benefits for your mental health. The great news is that you needn’t suffer to achieve results, plus you needn’t wait to reap the rewards either! Exercise is the best mental health wellbeing training. As you begin to break a sweat, the benefits towards positive mental health begin accruing instantly. Enjoy a run, cycle, swim, or whatever sporty activity is the most appealing – you deserve to feel better!
Do you have any mental health wellbeing tips that you’d like to share? We love to hear all about them. Tell us in the comments section below.
Kevin has been writing content for about 3 years. He really wants to share his experiences and advice with anyone who cares about mental health and fitness. He enjoys helping people achieve their fitness goals with simple instructions and overcoming any obstacles on the way.