6 exercises that lead to stronger mental health
Exercise is an integral tool to boost your physical as well as mental health. As per the survey results, one in four people in the UK, 27% to be exact, use exercise to take a breather, parents in particular.
Professionals prescribe exercise to people suffering from mental health ailments such as anxiety, depression, and more.
According to University College London, exercise sessions thrice a week help reduce the risk of developing depression by approximately 20%. Moreover, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests people with mild to moderate depression must participate in three 45 to 60-minute exercise sessions in 10 to 15 days to help elevate their mood.
From increased self-esteem to reduced anxiety, working out regularly is a great way to boost your mental wellbeing.
The long-term effects of exercise show delayed cognitive decline and dementia in the aged demographic along with improved executive function, reasoning, and problem-solving.
The following are six exercises that help your mental health.
6 exercises that lead to stronger mental health
The simplest exercise to get your mental health thriving is walking. Aside from being simple, walking is incredibly accessible and super affordable; it literally costs you nothing. Walking is easy, enjoyable, and gets the body moving.
Research suggests that low-intensity aerobic activity, such as walking, encourages positive thinking and improves focus.
If you are a beginner, you need not worry about making a big leap. Start small and build your pace and distance over time. Low-impact exercise is ideal if you struggle with physical health issues or are prone to panic attacks, etc.
Yoga has been proved to aid not only physical wellbeing but mental wellbeing as well. Gentle yet dynamic movement, yoga is soothing and enables better focus.
Moreover, it aids better breathing, which helps clear destructive thought loops that we struggle to eradicate from our minds. Breathing also helps put the nervous system at ease by taking it out of a flight-or-fight response.
Yoga puts your body through different movement planes that urge you to view the world from a different angle, literally. The chanting and singing involved in traditional yoga practices have been proved to tone the vagus nerve, an essential regulator of the central nervous system.
If you are of the belief that you must be flexible in order to practice yoga, you are mistaken. Yoga is not about how good you are with poses.
It is about pushing your body to limits that help it feel better on the inside. It is essential to start simple and work your way up. Yoga improves flexibility, so with time, you will find yourself getting better at it.
Another low-impact and enjoyable exercise that helps boost mental wellbeing is swimming. The effect of this particular exercise depends on whether you enjoy it or not. If you do not enjoy swimming, try your luck with something else.
Swimming is not only super relaxing, but it is excellent for regulating breathing, which, much like yoga, aids mental health. If you enjoy taking a dip in the water to feel at ease, incorporate swimming into your routine.
The calming effect of the water and the physical exercise helps you stay calm and stress-free. Moreover, the anticipation of indulging in an activity that you enjoy helps motivation and focus.
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, has a reputation for increasing body stress levels, resulting from a surge in adrenaline and cortisol levels. However, with time, your body adapts to the physical stress resulting from HIIT. Moreover, the endorphin release from strenuous exercise helps you feel elated and accomplished.
If you are looking to incorporate quick and intense activity in your routine that allows you to shift your focus completely, HIIT is excellent to keep all the negative thoughts at bay.
What could possibly be more fun than dancing? Dancing is always associated with happiness. Even on days when you do not feel your best, busting a move to your favorite beats is the best way to elevate your mood. If you like music and dancing, the best exercise to boost your mental health is simply dancing.
Not only does dance come with a sense of freedom, but it also comes with a sense of accomplishment as it challenges and encourages you to move your body differently. Try your luck with different dance incorporating workouts such as Zumba, aerobics, and barre. Start small and work your way up to build up your strength and resilience.
Surely exercise is not restricted to just physical exercise. Mental exercise, such as gaming, is beneficial as it enhances brain speed, memory, and problem-solving. Games, both board games and videogames, serve a purpose, which is to get the brain all wired up. Games such as Sudoku and Scrabble push you to be creative, whereas videogames enable you to solve problems efficiently.
While video games earn a bad rep for many reasons, it is essential to highlight the pros where they are necessary. If you are concerned about video games and their influence on mental health, you may find similar resources such as NeuroNation brain training that help assess and exercise your brain health with activities and games that help boost brain memory, speed, and attention span.
Experts recommend investing 15 to 30 minutes of your day into gaming as it is fun, relaxing, and mentally instigating. Not only does it shift your focus away from day-to-day stresses and responsibilities, but it helps you feel like a child again, a feeling we all appreciate more now.
Exercise has been proven to improve multiple aspects of your mental health significantly. From boosting memory and self-esteem to enhancing creativity and relieving stress, exercise is the best way to help your mental health become stronger. Its effect on lowering stress hormones and increasing endorphin release helps one feel much lighter and happier.
If you wish to keep your exercises mental wellbeing healthy and stable, we recommend engaging in different exercises to become an overall healthier person. Your mind and body are interconnected. Treat one right to ensure that the other one stays in optimum condition as well.