How to Maintain Your Mental Health Through Fitness

How to Maintain Your Mental Health Through Fitness
How to Maintain Your Mental Health Through Fitness

How to Maintain Your Mental Health Through Fitness : Even if you don’t know any Latin, you may have encountered the expression mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy body in a healthy mind.

The benefits of exercise for physical health are widespread, from improving heart health to strengthening joints and bones. How about the impact of exercising on mental health, though?

Well, here comes the good news: not only can exercising daily lead to an uptick in your overall mental health, but the benefits derived from exercise are transdiagnostic – that is, exercise delivers different rewards from person to person. As an example, someone suffering from depression may find exercising improves sleep quality and provides more motivation. Someone experiencing the symptoms of anxiety, by contrast, may find exercise distracts them from constant worry.

So, it doesn’t matter what exercise you choose or what areas of mental health you’re looking to sharpen. What counts is aiming for thirty minutes of daily exercise that raises your heart rate.

Incorporate this into your routine and you could start enjoying more robust mental health, while also getting fitter and stronger. And it can even help prevent problems from developing, like substance abuse. While there are rehabs in California to help people overcome these issues, the best thing you can do is avoid them to begin with.

6 Mental Health Benefits You Can Achieve Through Staying Active

  1. Exercise is a powerful stress-management tool
  2. You can enhance your mood through exercising regularly
  3. Physical activity can relieve some symptoms of depression and anxiety
  4. Keep negative thoughts and emotions at bay by exercising regularly
  5. Join a fitness class and enjoy more social support
  6. The better you look, the better you feel
Exercise is a powerful stress-management tool
Exercise is a powerful stress-management tool
  1. Exercise is a powerful stress-management tool

    When something happens to make you feel threatened or unbalanced, your body creates a stress response. The most common physical markers of stress are:

      • Sweating
      • Racing thoughts
      • Disrupted sleep patterns
      • Appetite loss

    In addition to uncomfortable physical symptoms, stress can make you behave differently, as well as making emotions feel more intense.

    All of these symptoms are triggered by a surge of hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) in your body. This is often described as the fight or flight response. Additionally, your heart rate and blood pressure rates rise. Blood flow is reduced, and you sweat more.

    Physical exercise acts as an effective stress-reliever. Research indicates that highly active individuals typically report lower stress rates than less active individuals.

  2. You can enhance your mood through exercising regularly

    You can enhance your mood through exercising regularly
    You can enhance your mood through exercising regularly

    One of the primary benefits of exercise on mental health is the way physical activity can improve mood.

    Researchers are still exploring the connection between exercise and mood. One leading explanation suggests that the endorphins (feel-good chemicals) your body produces during exercise improve mood. Cellular functions like sleep and concentration are also boosted as your heart rate increases and blood flow to the brain increases.

    Regardless of the specifics underpinning how exercise impacts mood, research shows that engaging in low-intensity aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times weekly for 30 minutes is most effective for improving mood.

  3. Physical activity can relieve some symptoms of depression and anxiety

    Some studies show that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants for treating some cases of major depressive disorder. Since many patients do not respond to antidepressants or experience a placebo effect, non-pharmacological interventions can deliver the benefits of antidepressants without the laundry list of side effects.

    Physical activity can also help reduce anxiety levels, according to this metanalysis of studies.

  4. Keep negative thoughts and emotions at bay by exercising regularly

    When you exercise, you’ll be distracted from negative emotions and thoughts. Spending large chunks of time sitting down allows your mind to wander.

    Contrast this with playing sports or taking part in a gym class. Your wandering thoughts will be refocused on the activity at hand. Some people find exercise like running can induce a zen-like state.

  5. Join a fitness class and enjoy more social support

    Join a fitness class and enjoy more social support
    Join a fitness class and enjoy more social support

    Isolation and loneliness can impair your mental health. If you feel your social support network is lacking and you find it hard to form new friendships, joining a gym or fitness club will instantly connect you with others with similar interests.

    Not only will you enjoy the powerful stress-relieving and mood-boosting properties of exercising, but you could also improve areas of your life like socializing that lead to an uptick in mental health.

  6. The better you look, the better you feel

    When you start increasing your physical activity, you could find you lose weight, and your muscles should become more toned.

    While this may be superficial, the better you look, the better you feel. As your self-confidence and self-esteem grows, so you’ll notice the benefits of physical exercise compounding and improving your overall mental health.

 

 

 

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How to Maintain Your Mental Health Through Fitness

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