Maintaining mental health is quite important for the well-being of a person. If you are mentally distracted or disturbed, you cannot concentrate on your day-to-day tasks. According to a recent study by the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), every fifth American experiences mental health issues, which means 40 million in a year. However, there are a lot of easy-to-do exercises that help people improve their mental wellbeing and enjoy life to its fullest. In this post, to help you improve your mental health, we are discussing 5 of the most well-known exercises that you can do anywhere.
Table of Contents
- Why is Maintaining Mental Health Important?
- How Can You Improve Your Mental Health?
- How are Exercises Beneficial for Mental Health?
- Treat Mild to Moderate Depression
- Effective for Anxiety Treatment
- Reduce the Symptoms of ADHD
- Help You Avoid Trauma
- Top Exercises that Help to Improve Mental Health
Why is Maintaining Mental Health Important?
It is very essential to keep your mind fresh and healthy because it influences behaviors, emotions, and more importantly, thoughts. Being mentally healthy can help with improving productivity and effectiveness when it comes to performing day-to-day tasks at work, school, or at home. Being mentally healthy is not just important for staying attentive to your work, but is also essential for developing healthy relationships and coping with the changes and diversities taking place in your life.
How Can You Improve Your Mental Health?
There are large number of factors that disturb your mental health, such as bad eating habits, not having a peaceful night’s sleep, and keeping your problems to yourself and not sharing them with others in your life. Similarly, there are also things that can help you improve your mental health such as exercising, eating healthy foods, and discussing your problems with others for solutions rather than sympathy.
How are Exercises Beneficial for Mental Health?
Exercises have an important role in keeping people mentally healthy. They are not just about building muscles and physical strength; they are also incredible for improving mental health. Here are some exercise benefits to help you understand why you should exercise on a daily basis to stay mentally fit.
Treat Mild to Moderate Depression
According to the latest studies, exercising daily is useful for treating mild to moderate depression as effectively as an antidepressant medicine does, but without causing any side effects. According to the latest study, you can lower the chances of major depression by 26% by walking for an hour or running for just 15 minutes a day. Studies also show that developing the habit of exercising daily can also help in the prevention of relapsing.
Exercising encourages changes in the brain such as neural growth, decrease in inflammation, and development of new activity patterns, which help in boosting calmness and wellbeing. Exercises are also helpful in releasing endorphins and other powerful chemicals in the brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good.
Effective for Anxiety Treatment
Anxiety is another mental issue that can affect your health and overall well-being. Exercising is one of the most effective and natural ways of treating anxiety. It helps in relieving tension and stress while boosting mental energy and increasing well-being through releasing endorphins.
Reduce the Symptoms of ADHD
If you are facing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), exercising can help you reduce its symptoms and improve your mood, motivation, and concentration. Doing any physical activity helps in activating the brain's dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels that affect focus and attention. That is why experts find exercises as beneficial as ADHD medications to deal with symptoms.
Help You Avoid Trauma
Besides being beneficial for physical fitness, exercising also helps your nervous system become unstuck and mobilized, which helps you deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or trauma. More prominently, exercises that contain cross movements and involve arms and legs are found helpful in this regard.
Top Exercises that Help to Improve Mental Health
According to studies, 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week can help you improve mental health, fight pain, and boost energy. Here are some of the top exercises that you can do to enjoy those benefits.
Are you in search of easy and painless yet free-of-cost activity to cope with your mental issues like depression, stress, and anxiety? Walking is the right option. According to studies, even a 15-minute walk a day can be enough to clear your head and improve your mental health.
It is not essential to go for a full hour of walking to make it beneficial. You can break this exercise into smaller chunks of manageable periods throughout the day. To reap the maximum benefits of walking for mental wellbeing, you can increase the level of intensity according to your comfort.
Yoga is the other exercise that consumes less energy and provides you with body and mind integration. According to Victoria Woodhall, yoga teacher and editorial director of GTG, yoga is a superpower when it comes to better mental health. Yoga is known best for increasing body awareness, easing muscle tension, and stress reduction.
Doing yoga exercises on regular basis has proven helpful for lowering blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, cardiac output, and boosting serotonin, which is helpful for easing depression and lowering anxiety.
In this regard, there are different types of yoga that you can use to do as per your schedule and ease. Hatha, yin, and restorative yoga types are effective if you want to go with slow movements. However, if you want to go for more active yoga types, vinyasa flow and ashtanga style can serve your purpose.
Read More: The 7 Best Yoga Poses for Beginners
Swimming is another outstandingly beneficial exercise, not only for physical fitness but also for mental health. It is a perfect way to have fun and relieve stress, depression, and anxiety more than any other exercise.
Being in contact with water is really helpful to loosen up your body and mind. A recent study shows that being immersed in water gives a boost to your blood flow to the brain.
On top of that, swimming is a low-impact and whole-body exercise, which means it is not too hard on the joints even if you have back and joint trouble.
If you are looking for a more intense way to give a boost to your mental wellbeing, HIIT would be a great option. Though it is a little hard for beginners as it increases the stress level due to an increase in adrenaline and cortisol, with time you adopt it and can enjoy its benefits for mental health. It is also quite beneficial for increasing the heart rate.
A 5–15-minute high-intensity workout routine can be a great way. You will be doing small chunks of different exercises by putting in your maximum effort. It will help your body release more endorphins and reduce stress levels.
Many people think of Pilates exercises as associated with physical fitness, but this is not the whole story. Pilates is also incredible for improving mental health.
Karen Laing, a Pilates instructor, says, "Learning the skill of Pilates and focusing on technique and knowing how your body feels is a mindful activity."
Pilates is exceptional when it comes to stress reduction and relaxation. This exercise is more focused on breathing and relaxation, which always helps in switching on your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for good sleep and mental wellbeing.
With the above-explained exercises, you can develop different workout routines to improve your mental health. You can perform these exercises anywhere and at any time to enjoy their benefits for mental well-being, staying active, and dealing with your day-to-day tasks effectively.
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