Exercising for mental health
Exercising can do wonders for both your physical and mental state; although the benefits to one's mental health are not considered as often. Today, I will aim to change your mind.
Exercise may help alleviate anxiety. According to an article published by Harvard Health, the stress-inducing hormones adrenaline and cortisol are reduced by a good workout session. Therefore, even if you have a packed schedule, you might want to reconsider squeezing in a workout at a safe time during the day. In my case, I have found that working out regularly helps me sleep better.
Chemicals called endorphins can improve a person's mood and act as painkillers naturally produced in the body. Endorphins create a relaxed mood and help you feel refreshed and optimistic after a long, grueling workout, according to the article by Harvard Health.
Though Elle Woods magically working out and studying simultaneously in Legally Blonde may have seemed unrealistic, is actually not that far from reality. This is because working out can help you feel better enough to handle challenging tasks.
The best part about the psychological benefits of exercising or working out is that it does not even require you to undergo extremely strenuous regimes. You may simply speed walk or even regularly walk for long distances, and it would work the same. You also have the ability to modify your exercise according to what helps you relax more.
If you prefer at home slow runs you can do so on a treadmill with some relaxing music. Sometimes having a peaceful environment for said activities, such as, walking in a park or taking a long stroll through a garden or field causes time to fly by, and facilitates walking longer distances than you initially intended to. Beautiful scenery and some ambient music can further elevate your walk or run to be more pleasant, and contribute to your general psychological well being.
There are even specific forms of exercise designed to focus on improving your mental state, e.g. some forms of yoga. The Harvard article mentioned previously also mentions how yoga incorporates deep breathing, which helps you calm down and de-stress. Although yoga poses may seem difficult to get started with, there are certain ways to begin without making it strenuous.
In my opinion, yoga is actually one of the best ways to improve one's mental health as it introduces you to methods of meditation and breathing techniques along with the poses.
Therefore, exercising for a good mental state should be taken into consideration. Given how fast-paced life can get, or how difficult it may seem to be to keep up with life sometimes, I hope this can be a habit we can build, and I hope it helps most people the way it has helped me.
Harvard Health Publishing, July 2020. Exercising to relax
Bushra Zaman likes books, art, and only being contacted by email. Contact her at [email protected]