Exercise is one of the most effective natural strategies to lift your mood and mental health. Don’t worry if you don’t like the gym; you don’t have to become a bodybuilder to reap the mental health benefits of exercise. You’ve probably already done some of the work. Regular exercises like walking or yoga can ease your daily symptoms depression and anxiety.
Here are the main exercises you should try today.
For more mental health tips, see how you can improve your mood without therapy and how to change your diet it benefits your mental well-being.
Why should you exercise for mental health?
Exercise makes you feel good about yourself. When I say exercise, I don’t just mean hitting the gym and pumping iron. Exercise is whatever makes you move. You don’t have to leave your home to boost your mental well-being with physical activity.
Benefits of exercise on your mental health:
No amount of exercise will unlock good mental health. This means you have the flexibility to find something that fits your lifestyle. There is no bar to meet – every amount of movement counts. However, researchers note that more exercise will increase the payout.
Exercises to boost your mental health
For many people, walk is his go mental health exercise. It’s one of my favorites since it’s relatively low impact, and you can do it anywhere. Walking can help relieve stress, relieve anxiety symptoms and promote positive thoughts. If you want the best results, walk out and immerse yourself in the green. The paths in nature have been found to reduce anxiety.
It doesn’t have to be a long walk; studies show that as little as 15 minutes of walking can decrease your risk of depressed by 26%.
If you’re looking for a more intense form of exercise for mental health, try running. Our brain floods endorphins that increase our mood when we run. It’s what people call a “runner’s high.” Studies have found outdoor exercise to be a effective treatment alternative to antidepressants.
Consistent running can do it too easier to sleep and increase the quality of sleep, which is essential to reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression.
Read more: : 5 Great Running Apps to Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals
3. Strength training
Try strength training if you want the added benefit of building muscle while improving your mental health. You can lower the risk of developing depression o relieves existing symptoms. You also get the satisfaction that comes with strength goals.
Strength training doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and lifting weights. You can easily build strength at home with free weights, resistance bands and your body weight.
Yoga not only helps to get your body moving, but gives you a chance reflect and meditate. That’s why we think it’s one of the best exercises you can do boost your mental health. Looking at yours breathing can eliminate it bad mental health habits like thought loops and negative thinking. Controlled breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which puts you into a state of relaxation. It does this by lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
The parasympathetic nervous system is the counterpart of the sympathetic nervous system which controls the body’s fight or flight response. When you have anxiety, your sympathetic nervous system is activated, even if there is no danger. Yoga can help engage your parasympathetic nervous system to bring you back to homeostasis.
One of the the best parts of yoga is the variety. You can choose the type you want to do – from relaxing to more physically demanding.
Dancing is another exercise option that can significantly reduces anxiety. It can also increase self-esteem. Like yoga, you can choose the type of dance you do – there are benefits for everyone. If you are not a dancer, try tango or free flow movement.
You don’t need to go to a dance studio to reap the benefits. You can take virtual dance classes in the comfort of your home. However, synchronized or choreographed group dancing can maximize results if you want social interaction. Classes like Zumba have social benefits which lack other forms of exercise. They allow you to connect with others and make friends.
Practical tips for starting exercise for mental health
The beginning is the hardest part. Here are some strategies to make exercise a staple in your routine.
- Choose an activity you like: Try not to think of exercise as something you have to do. Instead, see it as another tool you use in your wellness journey.
- Set realistic goals: Going too far with exercise can have a negative impact on your mental health, especially if you set goals for yourself that you can’t reasonably meet. Set small goals that you can build on as you grow. Remember, you have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself.
- Reward yourself: Rewarding yourself for completing a workout is a great idea to make a habit. It doesn’t have to be anything big – maybe an extra episode of your favorite show or a bubble bath.
- Do something social: If you are someone who thrives when you have accountability, make your exercise a social activity with friends.
Exercise is an excellent tool for managing the daily symptoms of mental health conditions. However, exercise is not intended to replace therapy and medication for those who rely on them to function.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health practitioner regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.