Before I tell you does exercise affect mental health, I need to get into how it has affected ME personally. I want to share with you a little back story so you can see the extent of my transformation, mentally. I talk a lot in past articles how it was the catalyst of the beginning my journey and I was being absolutely truthful.
I have always’s fought a losing battle called obesity. I do not not think of a time I did not have this overwhelming fear of my muffin top. It was especially hard when I did not consider myself an attractive “big girl”. I was around and curves did not exist on my body and to ME it just make me feel uncomfortable. I was NOT healthy and I smoked cigarettes! (I am 15 months cigarette free!!)
One day, I was really emotional because even though I was NOT excessively eating, was running around all day and caring for my boys, I was GAINING more weight than my body could handle. I have a herniated disk in my lower lumbar, tendons from my left foot never healed properly from a break, so they tended to swell (by than, they were always swollen) and I have poly cyst ovarian syndrome also known as PCOS. Unfortunately, this push me into a great depression as I felt so alone and I knew that if I did not do anything, I will continue to be miserable.
I am also not a person to stay to long in my negative mind frame. I am a person who does her research and double checks facts, so that I do not move forward with confidence.
It was no surprise that exercise was ALWAYS at the middle of every article, site and/or social media page. Yes, you can take pills, diet, fast but they are always recommending exercise WITH it. At first, I hated it, but slowly but surely I really came to LOVE the gym and dubbed it “Me Time” and my curves NOW are noticeable! But most importantly, I started to LOVE myself and it was because I started to count on myself. My determination, motivation, focus and commitment helped me, help myself.
I improved my view of life and I wanted you know does exercise affect mental health!
Exercise improves mental health by reducing depression, anxiety, depression, negative mood and by improving cognitive function and self- esteem. Exercising can help alleviate symptoms such as social withdrawal and low self-esteem.
It is not all about muscle size and aerobic capacity, exercising regularly can have a profound positive impact of depression, ADHD, anxiety and more. It can also relieve stress, improves memory, helps you to sleep, and gives a boost to you overall mood! All these great benefits with just 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. Two 15-minute or even three 10-minute sessions per week can work out just right for you.
Benefits To Exercising
*Helps Enhanced Mood- Even as little as 5 minutes into your physical activities can individuals notice an improvement in their moods. Research shows that exercise helps alleviate mild to moderate depression (Please see Exercise and Depression)
* Helps Reduce Stress- Exercising can help release your stress buildup, while increasing relaxation. Regular exercise has been shown to help reduce symptoms of anxiety (Please see Stress and Anxiety)
* Gives You A Boost Of Energy- I know it seems like right after you exercise, you are worn out and I believe that in the beginning you are tired and beat. If you make it a regular occurrence, you will start to feel invigorated. Your energy and stamina will increase.
*Improves Your Physical Health- Exercise is well-known to decrease blood pressure and heart rate. It controls weight, strengthens muscles, improves circulation and enhances the immunity.
* Deeper Sleep- Your sleep pattern will regulate and it will better as you feel more rested.
You Do Not Have To Turn Into A Fittness Fanatic!
You do not have to go to such extent to enjoy the many benefits that exercises provides!
Research shows that even if you exercise for a moderate amount of time, it can still make a difference in your life! In fact, only 30-minutes of moderate activity, five times per week is plenty of time to reap benefits. Doing a quick walk, quick workout at the gym (or even at home!) or a swim could go a long way to improving your overall well-being. (The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise)
It is a great idea to mix up your routine to keep things interesting and to make sure you work out your full body! You can even do a combination of different type of exercises- try a combination of HITT, Strength building, flexibility exercises and aerobic exercises.
Try To Integrate Into Your Routine
Try to develop an exercise routine and schedule that is completely realistic for you. For example, if you do not have morning classes, that might be a great time to schedule a regular routine. If have a regular lunch hour, try going for a quick walk or even hitting the gym if its close to your job! Please avoid exercise before going to bed as it can interfere with your sleep routine!
One must be creative in the ways they can build a regular routine into your life. Remember that there are many ways you can get your exercise in, for free!
*You can take a walk or bike it to work or class
*Make is a social event(For now, keep social distancing)- Getting together with friends to run, walk or try out some workout videos can make this a really fun activity and it can help keep the motivation alive!
*Daily Chores Are Opportunities For Exercise- Doing house chores like scrubbing your bath or floor, cleaning your rooms, carrying grocery bags burns calories and gives your muscles a good workout.
*If your a student and do not participate on a school team, find out if your school has any open gym, club sports, or swim times that can provide regular exercise.
*Since most people always have their phones on them, use your phone activity app to help motivate and inspire you to track your physical activity!
Research shows that the connection for not only physical health but also mental help can be just as important. Since everything starts with your mind, there is reason to believe that exercise can help propel you to doing MORE and BEING more than you ever thought you can be!(Like it did to ME!)
So dig in, get pumped and exercise for not only your body, but for your MIND!
Leave a comment down below! How does exercise affect your mental health? Do you have any questions? Want to start a conversation? Then come on down to the comment section, where I can respond and start a discussion!