August 13, 2020

7 Ways Fitness Helps Improve Your Mental Health

By: Alice Powell
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Table of Contents

Medicially Reviewed By:
Dr. Priya Chaudhri
credentials here

Mental health can be referred to as a level of physiological and psychological well being which entails functioning at a satisfactory standard of emotional and behavioral adjustment in society.

A good mental health means you’re living a relatively healthy and happy life. Maintaining your mental health is of utmost importance since the rigours of human life can take a toll on your psyche. How you create a balance between your daily tasks, efforts and your societal relationships gives an idea of your mental framework.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness* (NAMI), one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness each year. One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental disorder each year. 50 per cent of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14 and 75 per cent by age 24. These statistics reflect the importance of having a strong mental health and how real its issues are. Coupled with a balanced diet, and a steady exercise routine would do wonders to people who are battling mental issues. Online programs like Total Shape offer thorough charts to help you work out the best you can to build your physique and feel strong mentally.

A healthy body equals healthy mind

One of the major ways in which you can improve your mental health is by physical activity or maintaining fitness levels. Switching to a physically active lifestyle and maintaining the right fitness levels help a great deal in not just coping with mental issues but also help improve your state of mind. We will study 7 Fitness Helps Improve Mental Health in detail.

Fitness Helps Fight Depression

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness. As per WHO*, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression globally. However, regular exercise is a very potent remedy to fight depression. A good workout helps the body release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals. Even if you are not doing a high-intensity workout daily but are keeping good fitness levels by doing some form of physical activity regularly through the week, it is good for your mental health. Neuroscientists say that exercising regularly supports nerve cell growth, improving nerve cell connections that relieve depression.

Exercise Reduces Stress

Stress is something that causes a chain of events in our body. In stress, the hormone adrenaline is released which increases your blood pressure after rising breathing and heart rate levels. Exercise is a great way to manage and reduce stress levels. Aerobic exercise is a proven way to have a calming effect that curb stress-related illnesses. A 150-minute-per-week fitness program is usually recommended to remain mentally healthy. The types of work out include walking, yoga, tai chi, cycling, swimming, dancing and zumba etc.

A Good Work Out reduces Anxiety Levels

Worrying at length becomes a harsh problem for our bodies. Anxiety causes physical and emotional side-effects. While proper medication is advised to deal with anxiety, exercise helps cut down its ill effects. Anxiety is linked to heart rate.

If you’re someone who is new to the gym routine, chances are that your heart rate will rise rapidly after your first run on the treadmill. However, when you work out in between short breaks, your heart rate becomes consistent and your fitness levels improve in the long run.

Fitness increases Memory Power

Staying physically fit helps improve your memory power and thinking ability. Anxiety and stress can cause cognitive impairment and doing physical exercise helps the brain function properly by increasing cell development in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

Exercise enhances sleep cycles which aid in better memory power and thinking ability. A good morning cardio helps process new information in the day and better response to complex situations. Weight training can be a good remedy to those who are recovering from insomnia.

Exercise Builds Self Confidence

While improving your brain function, regular exercises help you gain a high-level of accomplishment. Whether it is betting your score at a 100-meter dash or the weights you lift at the gym, working out will lift your spirits and prompt you to do better each time. Working out to tone your body fat will increase your self-esteem when you see the positive results day after day. You will feel more confident when your body image improves.

Fitness Helps Improve Mental Health and Creates a Positive Mind-set

Exercise helps create positivity within you. Exercising relieves worry and aids the mind to focus on other things. Working out is one of the best ways to overcome negative thinking. Be it gardening, washing your car, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or cycling to work, you will feel positive about these practices that will help you stay mentally strong and agile.

Working Out Helps Deal with Addictions

Addiction has an adverse effect on your body. Seizures, strokes and joint infections are few of the problems that come from severe addiction. Walking and jogging is believed to have helped lessen peoples’ cravings for substance. Exercise is often recommended as an added measure to psychotherapy while dealing with drug abuse.

An active outdoor workout can increase dopamine levels during treatment of addicts. Many recovery and rehab centers include yoga in their daily activity plan as it helps deal with stress, which can trigger a relapse and sends you into a state of medication. Part-taking in team sports activities help in building camaraderie and competitive spirit, both are good ways to welcome the addicts back into society.

Juggling your work, responsibilities, hobbies and health all at the same time can be a tedious ask. Here are a few suggestions that can help you find that perfect balance.

Now that you’ve understood the importance of how fitness helps improve mental health, maintaining high mental fitness levels and the ways exercise helps you keep your mind healthy, go ahead and choose your physical activity, create a daily fitness plan, work out a routine and stay positive. You can do it, build those muscles, burn that fat, you’ll see your pain turn into gain!

Our team of experts is here to help you.