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How Exercise Can Boost Mental Health

By Chanel Rick - May 23,2022
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Ask yourself, have you been feeling burnt out lately? 

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for people to experience severe burnout caused by stressful deadlines or increased responsibilities. Whether you’re a student, working professional, stay-at-home spouse or an older citizen, stress is inevitable. Most people read a largely sedentary daily life with a lack of physical activity. Such conscious or unconscious negligent behaviours have contributed to a growing crisis. 

The decline in mental health and well-being affects all age groups. Until a few years ago, there was a common misconception that such matters were a luxury; only meant for the rich. After years of breaking such stigmas, people have begun stepping up and speaking out about their struggles with mental disorders and depression. 

However, despite debunking such false notions, other problems persist – mental healthcare remains inaccessible for a majority. It could be due to poor awareness, fewer resources or funds, fear of stigma, etc. While reaching out to a professional could greatly benefit your condition, there are other ways to elevate your mental health problems! 

Also Read: Mental Health Coverage in Health Insurance: All You Need to Know

The Benefits of Exercising for Mental Health 

You may be surprised (or you might roll your eyes), but the benefits of exercising for mental health are far too many to ignore! Many people tout the pros of practising yoga daily, and why shouldn’t they? It helps you maintain steady breathing, relieves chronic stress, soothes and relaxes your mind, sharpens your concentration, and more! 

Before you knock out the option of considering routine exercise, here are some more benefits that might change your mind! 

●    Boosted Self-Esteem: Slowly achieving physical goals will do wonders for your self-confidence as it improves your body, mind and spirit

●    Lowered Stress: Exercises help release happy hormones, or Dopamine, which reduces stress and boosts your cognition and mood 

●    Fights Depression: It energises your spirits, giving you time to break away from the usual stressors and focus entirely on yourself 

●    Control Anxiety: Regular exercise can aid in releasing endorphins, improving your overall ability to handle stress-inducing events

●    Better Sleep: Practising relaxing exercises before heading to bed can help regulate your nightly schedule and promote sleep

With so many beneficial outcomes of exercising, why not introduce simple workout routines to your lifestyle? The many advantages outweigh any minor inconvenience it may impose on your daily pattern. After all, it just takes 10 minutes of daily exercise to see visible results in your mood! 

4 Simple Daily Exercises to Practise 

Gung-ho to begin your path to mental wellness, but don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of exercises that fit into the busiest schedules. Just give yourself at least 10-15 minutes daily to focus on your mental health before carrying on with your work. 

1. Deep Breathing 

It seems simple, right? Taking a few deep breaths is a great way to regain control of your mind and lowering stress levels. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to sit down and relax. Just inhale and exhale deliberately slow until you feel your diaphragm expand. 

2. Brisk Walking or Running 

Sometimes, an underlying health condition due to weight gain could trigger depression and anxiety. Start slowly by taking a few minutes daily to jog or brisk walk after work. Furthermore, a “runner’s high” can help you gain more clarity and clear your head of any stress! 

3. Yoga 

If you feel intimidated by the flexibility displayed by most enthusiasts, it’s okay! There are different types of moves that are available for beginners to practise. Regardless of the level, it can help you align your mental and emotional needs. Ensure to pair it with meditation for the best results! 

4. Bodyweight Exercises 

Engaging in strenuous exercises by lifting weights can heavily influence how you feel and perceive yourself. Studies have revealed that moderate level exercises can reduce anxiety and improve overall cognition and the functioning of your central nervous system. 

When living in a fast-paced world and chasing career aspirations and family goals, the high stress of such a lifestyle can become unbearable. Manage your and your family’s mental and physical health by indulging in exercises daily! 

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