It has been promoted time and time again on how exercise can develop one’s physical well-being, but what could be done with one’s mental health? The good news is there is now a shift on the idea about the benefit of working out from just weight-related concerns but also towards psychological health improvements.
As of late, GP’s in the country and The National Institute For Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are giving the prescription to work out a combat for depression, amongst other mental health issues. 45 minutes to up to an hour of exercise in the span of up to 14 weeks could greatly help those who suffer mild to moderate depression.
“You are not a just a ‘victim’ of depression. You can take positive action such as exercise and meditation to help balance your biochemistry,” wrote Judith Orloff, MD.
Now, the question is what exercises to do? Below are 7 recommendations to elevate one’s moods:
Walking is the most straightforward, cheapest and highly accessible exercise out there. It is highly recommended for those who are just starting out as well as to those who are more likely to have panic attacks. This low-intensity workout is known to encourage positive thoughts as well as to improve one’s alertness.
Another low-intensity workout but with added movement is yoga. Yoga compliment one’s walking activity while establishing a fluid body-mind connection: stretching the mind, both mentally and literally.
“Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system,” wrote Deborah Khoshaba, PsyD.
“Performance of various postures requires the tensing and stretching and then relaxing of muscle groups and joints, which effectively produces relaxation in much the same way that a massage or Progressive Muscle Relaxation (a technique used by behavioral psychologists) does,” added Mark Dombeck, PhD.
This exercise could be a matter of preference for people, but this is another option for a low impact workout. For those who prefer swimming, a boost in their mental health is a result of just a good 10 minutes of it. All of it as part of their daily routine.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This exercise is known for the increase in one’s stress level, yet the more one does it, the more the body gets to adopt making it more resilient. Developing the ability to cope quite quickly that dramatically helps in how to handle stress on a day-to-day basis is one of its advantages.
Cycling could be in a spin class or outdoors. What is essential is to have that positive headspace where one switches off their thoughts from all the demands and expectations of the outside world to what they are feeling and wanting to achieve.
Dancing, for some people, is the outward expression of their happiness and excitement. But for those who are not feeling it, the little basis of getting into the rhythm of things helps increase self-esteem. Dancing, in turn, allows one to let go of their anxiety followed by the feeling of release and freedom.
Might be a bit off after all the exercise talk (and is technically not an exercise), but including and putting “rest” on the schedule is as important in the development of one’s physical and mental health.
Rest is there to create a particular sense of balance. In that after all the activities and movements, to have time just to be still, breathe and free the mind is needed.
In 2017, it has been found by an Australian research team that 12 percent of people who developed depression could have been prevented if one just goes for an hour of exercise on a weekly basis. Everything to help combat anxiety, have a positive outlook and to increase self-esteem will definitely have an impact. Benefits that are not only weight-related but mind-shifting as well. All are for a positive psychology and healthy mind space.