The benefits of exercise are well known in the physical sphere of life, but there is little clarity about the same being effective in improving the mental functioning of people or not. Understanding the benefits of physical activity and a straightforward positive approach towards exercise has improved physical health conditions like better cardiovascular health. The same educated approach can prove beneficial towards mental health.
Some Research-Based Results
- Several studies have shown that physical activities can reduce depression-related symptoms. Some patients who did aerobic exercises showed better results than psychotropic treatments.
- Physical activities also tend to improve overall health-related quality of life, which, according to recent studies, boost the morale and confidence of patients with mental conditions.
- McLafferty and colleagues developed a physical activity-based resistance programme that showed improvements in overall mood and behaviour.
- Some special research-based programmes focusing on adolescents and people above 70 years of age showed better mood and behavioural conditions of people subject to customised physical activities.
- Similar results were drawn from walking programmes and dance programmes conducted by various researchers.
Use physical activity for your mental fitness.
To seize the advantages of physical activity and use it to have better mental health, we need to understand the following things:
Do not associate activeness with sports.
While sports can do a lot of good, the competitiveness involved is not for everybody. We only need to be active to have mental health benefits. Indulging in a sport is not essential, and hence sports should not be considered the only way.
- Enjoy the activity
It is important not to force ourselves into something. Instead, we should take up an activity that we enjoy and make it a part of our daily routine.
- Start slowly
It can be difficult to suddenly teach something out of the blue in our daily routine, so we should start slowly and steadily try to make it a part of our everyday life as a pleasure-giving activity.
- Do what suits you
Instead of forcing ourselves into some activity that others might like, we should focus on our way of doing things. It should be our call to decide what activity to perform and whether to perform it individually or in a group.
- Set goals
Setting up plans can help in motivating us to a great extent. Constant review of goals and performance instills a sense of accomplishment and allows us to make significant progress consistently.
Things to keep in mind
The studies provide enough evidence to say that exercise can help improve people’s mental health, but the duration and frequency of practice must be kept in mind while going about it. Too little activity will provide zero results, while too much sudden action can exhaust us physically as well as mentally. The key is to strike a balance and stick to exercise as a routine, as an essential part of the day, which initially might be a little hard to start but eventually starts giving us comfort and a better mood.
It is crystal clear that exercise benefits not only physical health but mental health also. With an increasing number of people having mental conditions, supportive activities like exercise are bound to help as these, in a way, provide us with much-needed ‘me time’ while helping us physically as well. These activities coupled with relaxing activities like baking cookies, playing music, and meditation practices form an integral part of self-care. Hence, as we advance, we need to take up the benefit of these things and start considering exercise as an activity resulting in overall well-being.
Written By: Arshdeep
Mayank verma · 3 September 2021 at 10:17 pm
Nice article very informative
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