As we are all well aware, we need to maintain an exercise regime if we want to keep ourselves in peak physical condition. It is recommended that we undertake one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, or seventy-five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week, in order to maintain good physical health. But believe it or not, the link between exercise and physical health isn’t the only existing link between exercise and our overall well being. In fact, exercise and mental health are closely tied too! When we think of mental health, we think of the intangible. We think of our minds as something disconnected from our bodies. But the two really do tie together!
Understanding Mental Health
Mental health can prove just as important to our quality of life as our physical health. Poor mental health can be extremely difficult to deal with. In fact, every year, an astounding number of people end their own lives as a result of poor mental health. So, it’s important that we pay the subject due diligence and attention. Conduct research into common mental health conditions. See how they can impact you. Familiarise yourself with their signs and symptoms. The sooner you can identify an issue and have it diagnosed, the sooner you are likely to find yourself on the road to recovery. If you want to learn a lot more on the subject, you could even undertake an online masters on mental health counseling.
How Exercise Can Impact Mental Health
So, how can exercise impact mental health? Generally speaking, when people are suffering from a mental health condition, they are likely to be less inclined to engage with exercise. But various studies have found that exercise can prove beneficial to our mental health in general. Even short bursts of physical activity can improve our alertness, provide us with positive energy, and improve our mood. Exercise can also encourage us to leave the house and get some fresh air in our lungs.
Forms of Exercise that Are Particularly Beneficial to Mental Health
While almost any form of exercise is likely to improve our mental health to a degree, there are certain forms of exercise that are lauded for their benefits in regard to this topic. Yoga, in particular, can often prove significantly positive for those struggling with their mental health. In fact, it is often employed as a psychotherapy practice tool by the American Psychological Association. Some of the benefits associated with yoga include:
- Enhanced social well being by creating communities and encouraging a sense of belonging.
- Increased levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate nerve activity.
- Boosted levels of mindfulness, in which individuals can feel at one with the world they are living in.
Sure, we may automatically associate physical exercise with physical wellbeing. But it can play a major role in our emotional and mental wellbeing too. Always bear this in mind! You never know when it might come in useful!