Let’s talk about mental health. Physical health and mental health go hand-in-hand. When your body is not doing well more than likely your mental state is not doing well either.
Yes, there are multiple ways to combat mental health i.e. medication, coping mechanisms, therapy etc. but how about a way that will improve BOTH your mental and physical well being.
A recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.
Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. During exercise your body pumps blood to your head to help you think more clearly, thus reducing anxiety. It also increases the connections between the nerve cells in the brain. This improves your memory and helps protect your brain against injury and disease.
So how much exercise do you need to reap these amazing benefits?
Not as much as you think. You don’t have to be a jacked bodybuilder or marathon runner to see results. The World Health Organization recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week. Moderate exercise is classified as anything where you start to breathe heavier than normal and work up a sweat. Examples of this can be a light jog around the neighborhood, yard work, a game of tennis, or putting on some tunes and having a dance party. Moderate exercise does not have to be anything crazy; just get your body moving.
Once your body gets used to the routine try adding in more exercises. If you haven’t, try moving your routine to the gym and as you get more comfortable try adding in some weight training. The feeling of lifting heavy things will also give you endorphins. There are benefits of exercising in the gym that your house or garage doesn’t give you. Being around people will help to reduce the feelings of loneliness many people experience with mental health issues. You’ll have trainers and staff to help hold you accountable and give advice.
Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand. By combating your mental health with physical activities you will not only be helping your mental health but also your physical health. A two for one deal!