FACT! If you want to enjoy the benefits of good health you have to stay fit, and if you are looking for ways to boost your mental health - then exercise is considered one of the best forms of therapy to help you improve your mental well-being and physique.
But, while the country remains in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, you may find it a bit difficult to exercise and maintain your regular workout routine. However, working out in some form on a regular basis will prove extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health in the long run, not to mention help alleviate some of the stress you may be experiencing during this time.
Let's get high
‘Runner’s high’ is a well-known endorphin fuelled phenomenon and when we take a deeper look we find that increasing activity levels from nothing to taking part in three exercise sessions a week reduces the risk of depression by around 20% - interesting right.
We also found that GPs around the world now prescribe exercise as a treatment for depression, among other conditions, and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that those suffering from mild to moderate depression take part in three activity sessions ranging from 45 minutes to an hour in duration over a period of 10-14 weeks to reap the benefits of mood-elevating exercise.
From reduced anxiety to clearer thinking and increased self-esteem when we see positive changes to our physical fitness or social life, working out really can be a great way to work through mental health problems, but finding the right kind of exercise and environment can be key to reaping the psychological rewards of getting sweaty.
Here are our 7 ideas of activities that have been known to give mental health sufferers a lift in more ways than one and you can do some of these without leaving your home.
The simplest, most accessible, and most affordable exercise of all, don’t knock a bit of a ramble until you’ve tried it. Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master Life Coach Jacqueline Hurst endorses putting one foot in front of the other in order to improve your mental well-being.
Research has found that low-intensity aerobic activity is the best form of exercise for encouraging positive thoughts and improving alertness, so starting off slow and building up pace and distance as you go could have a big payoff in terms of making mental health strides. Gentle, low impact exercise may also be the best choice initially if you suffer from a physical health problem or are prone to panic attacks, which can affect breathing. So do yourself a favour and walk around the house or your yard for a few minutes each day.
Perhaps a bit of an obvious choice, but if you’d like to complement walking with something a little more dynamic or stretching (literally and mentally), yoga could be just the thing for you.
Ok, we know you can't really do this right now cause of the lockdown, but taking a regular dip in the pool could be beneficial to your mental well-being in the long run. Studies have shown that swimming regularly can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. People who suffer from mental health issues should swim at least once every two to three weeks. By doing this it can make you feel happier, feel more motivated. The most important thing is whether or not you enjoy it; if you hate every second in the water, get out and give something else a go instead. Feeling enthused about the activity you do take part in is as important as the physical benefits you’ll gain.
High-intensity exercise has a reputation for increasing stress levels, but owing to a surge in cortisol and adrenaline, but as you become more active you should find that your body adapts to this, learns to cope, and becomes more resilient over time, which could support stress coping strategies in daily life.
Taking a bit of mental time out can be one of the main rewards of getting moving, and disengaging from the rat race and external pressures is a fundamental skill to develop throughout the exercise, like flexing a muscle.
"FOCUSING ON WHAT YOU WANT TO FEEL OR ACHIEVE RATHER THAN STRUGGLING WITH WHAT YOU ARE FIGHTING AGAINST SHIFTS YOUR ENERGY TOWARDS SOMETHING POSITIVE"
We all know how to ride a bike and cycling is a great way to stay in shape. A basic physical exercise or a ride around the block or using an indoor cycle, in this case, could hold the key to fine-tuning your mood. You’ll see that it’s not necessarily the activity itself that helps you to turn a corner, but your connection to it, although subtle physical cues can instill a greater sense of self-worth.
Incorporating R&R, HipHop, or some Samba into any fitness routine or activity is vital for both mental and physical health, as fixating on exercise only can damage mental health, rather than nurture it.
Dancing is often associated with being happy, but even if you’re not feeling on top of the world, getting yourself into the rhythm can mean that self-esteem gradually increases as you lose yourself in the moves and the music. - So go ahead what are you waiting for, go out and bust a move for fitness sake.
So this one is technically not an exercise, but did you know sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and your mental health. And those with mental health problems are more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders. So make sure to get as much as you can, a good night's sleep can help foster both your mental and emotional resilience.
A final word before we go
We hope that you enjoyed this article and if you keen on improving your mental health and well-being than go ahead and give it a try and don't forget to share this with your family and friends. Stay Safe and keep moving.
Source/Credit: Get The Gloss Experts On Health & Beauty