Is there any best exercise for mental health? We all know that exercising can make us more effective in terms of physical strength, but how many of us set fitness goals to see how our mental health improves?
If we weren’t aware of strength training for depression and anxiety relief, Lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic made it clear to us. According to a survey of more than 1,000 Britons (38 per cent) by the health club Total Fitness, more than a third of British adults use regular exercise to improve their mood and reduce stress. More than one in four (27 per cent) use sports to take a moment for themselves — especially their parents.
The most popular form of exercise, according to the survey, is running: “Runner’s high” is a well-known endorphin-driven phenomenon, but it’s not just a distance sprint that boosts your mood; A study by researchers at University College London found that increasing activity from zero to three workouts per week reduced the risk of depression by about 20 per cent.
Best Exercise For Mental Health – How Often Should You Exercise For Mental Health?
If three sessions a week sounds just out of reach, don’t worry, starting small with just one session a week once a week is enough to make a difference. An Australian research team found that 12 per cent of depression cases could be prevented if participants exercised just one hour a week.
GPs across the country are prescribing physical activity to treat depression, among other things, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that people with mild to moderate depression complete three activity sessions lasting 45 minutes to an hour over a period of 10 14 weeks to take advantage of the mood-enhancing exercise.
For many of us, health fears have increased during the pandemic, and knowing that through the exercise we are doing the important job of supporting our immune system and controlling weight gain – obesity is one of the factors contributing to the effects of Covid-19 can cause. worsen.
(As an aside, exercise can also have a powerful effect on your lungs, as it may reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a leading cause of death in patients with Covid-19, says lead exercise researcher Zhen Yan, PhD, of the medical school the University of Virginia).
Focus On What You Want To Feel Or Not Fight With What You Fight, Shift Your Energy To Something Positive
The messages about getting fit are finally starting to shift from a weight loss focus to mental health benefits. In an interview with the Sunday Times this week, Joe Wicks, the country’s self-proclaimed physical education teacher, described HIIT exercise as “my antidepressant.”
From reduced anxiety to clearer thinking and greater self-esteem, when we see positive changes in our physical fitness or social lives, exercise can really be a great way to overcome mental health issues, but using the right kind of exercise and environment can help. Also finding it is key to reaping the psychological rewards of sweating.
Best Exercise For Mental Health
But, what is the best exercise for mental health? First of all, it is important to remember that the best exercise for your own well-being is the one you enjoy. Moving in a way you enjoy is key to creating a positive habit that you can sustain for the long haul. Whether you’re hitting the gym for a workout or dancing in your kitchen, the most important thing is to find out what works for you and gets you moving so you feel good.
Still don’t know where to start? Here are some of our best exercise for mental health!
Yoga is based on spirituality and, with its close relationship to meditation and thoughtful breathing exercises, is still synonymous with relaxation and tranquillity. The benefits of yoga have made it a respected practice tool in psychotherapy. Yoga is said to increase body awareness, reduce stress and relieve muscle tension. Plus, it can be a calming exercise that allows you to fully focus on yourself and your body, which explains why so many people regularly enjoy the mental health benefits of yoga.
Consistent yoga practice has been shown to lower heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and cardiac output, and increase serotonin. As a result, it can help relieve depression and reduce anxiety.
And it’s important to remember that there are many different types of yoga, offering a spectrum from completely calming, meditative classes to more physically demanding options, so you can try a few until you find the perfect one that fits your needs.
Running is often one of the most popular exercises for combining physical fitness with mental well-being. As with walking, it can be completely free, in the fresh air, and has the advantage of being an activity that you can easily transfer to the gym by getting on the treadmill.
While running, mood-enhancing endorphins combine with the “runners high” after the run, promoting a sense of well-being and even a slight euphoria. Runners also regularly celebrate the benefits of stress relief and better sleep, both of which can really help improve emotional well-being, relieve anxiety and fight depression.
Walking may seem like a tamer option for staying healthy, but the nice thing about it is that it’s free, has a relatively low impact, and gives you some fresh air. Taking a walk can help relieve stress and help with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. A 15-minute walk can be enough to clear your head.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to exercise for an entire hour or make it a challenge to promote your well-being. You can break it down into small manageable chunks throughout the day if that’s better for you.
Another great quality of walking is that you can increase the intensity to your liking. If you’re brand new to the sport or have physical limitations, a gentle walk can get you started. Once you get used to it, you can prepare for faster hikes or steeper slopes to take on the challenge. You can enjoy all the psychological benefits, but with the bonus of putting your body in a fitter state.
4. HIGHLY INTENSIVE INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)
If you’re looking for a workout that is challenging but also boosts your emotional well-being, HIIT or circuit training may be a good option. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up, often requires little to no equipment and can be completed in a short time.
5. RESISTANCE TRAINING
Resistance training is an exercise where you push or pull against some type of force, whether it’s with free weights, weight machines, or even your own body weight. The focus is on improving strength or building muscle, which in turn can have a variety of positive effects on your body, from improved bone health to improved function in everyday life.
But the benefits don’t just end there, there are countless ways in which strength training can be beneficial for mental health. Proven benefits include improved memory, reduced anxiety, better sleep, improved cognition and the ability to fight depression and chronic fatigue.
In addition, strength training is an excellent way to increase self-esteem and confidence, which are highly associated with positive physical and mental well-being. While you’re working on your strengths, getting new PRs can be very rewarding. If you’re not sure how to get started with strength training, don’t worry – you can always ask a personal trainer at your gym to help and advise you.
While we can’t go to the recreation centre or gym at the moment, this is another soft option that doesn’t carry any weight. Jacqueline has seen clients improve mentally by incorporating just ten minutes of swimming into their daily lives. The important thing is whether you like it or not; If you hate every second in the water, get outside and try something different instead. Enthusiasm for the activity you participate in is just as important as the physical benefit you get from it.
7. BOXING AND MARTIAL ARTS
Anyone who has ever tried boxing – or similar martial arts such as kickboxing or boxing fitness classes – will know that it is not only a great way to work up a sweat but also a fantastic way to blow off steam. While the intensity of the exercise contributes to a good supply of mood-enhancing endorphins, the punches and kicks are ideal stress killers and a great way to reduce pent-up aggression.
Boxing and martial arts can build your self-esteem and confidence as you build strength and fitness and see your skills improve. Plus, you can learn a lot about self-control, focus, and courage, all of which are incredibly valuable in improving your own emotional well-being.
What Are The Benefits Of Exercise On Mental Health?
- Sharper memory and thinking. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you focus and feel mentally fit for the tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent old age decay.
- Higher self-esteem. Regular activity is an investment in body, mind and soul. When it becomes a habit, it can boost your self-esteem and make you strong. You will feel better about your appearance and have a sense of achievement just by achieving small training goals.
- Sleep better. Even short workouts in the morning or afternoon can help regulate your sleep schedule. If you prefer to exercise at night, relaxing exercises like yoga or gentle stretching can help promote sleep.
- More energy. Raising your heart rate several times a week can help you get up and go. Start with just a few minutes of exercise a day and increase your exercise when you feel more energetic.
- Stronger resilience. When you face mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help you build resilience and manage it healthily rather than resorting to alcohol, drugs, or other negative behaviours that will eventually make your symptoms worse. . Regular exercise can also help strengthen your immune system and reduce the effects of stress.
These are just some ideas to help you. Some people prefer high-intensity exercise while others prefer high-intensity activities. Some people do cardio, while others enjoy lifting weights. The best exercise for mental health is the one that you like, that fits your needs and goals, and that makes you feel good.