Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety has been on the rise, especially since the pandemic began in 2020. More lives are being lost to suicide, and there is a lack of psychologists to even help those in need. Thankfully, fitness plays an essential role in mental health, and today we shall dive into it together.
People often seek fitness for the physical aspects of their lives, but recent research has shown that fitness has a positive correlation to better mental health. Those who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional wellbeing, and lower rates of mental illness.
How does fitness impact mental health?
- Exercise stimulates the formation of hormones that elevates your mood, such as endorphins and serotonin. These hormones can stimulate you to go out into the world, lower feelings of loneliness and depression, and meet new people! It’s all in the science.
- Regular exercise is able to help you sleep better, making it better to control your mood
- Exercise can help to divert you from negative thoughts while also providing opportunity to try new things
- Exercising is also able to provide an outlet for frustrative and intrusive thoughts
Exercise’s physical advantages are also significant for those suffering from mental illnesses. It benefits your cardiovascular health as well as your general physical fitness. This is crucial as those who have mental illnesses are more likely to suffer from chronic medical ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and asthma.
How do I begin my fitness journey to better my mental health?
Lost with how to start? Here is where I come in! I have listed down some tips that I share with my personal training clients aka my Achievers to get them started on their fitness journey.
1. Take baby steps
Overwhelming yourself to incorporate fitness into your daily life is only going to aggravate the situation at hand. Instead take baby steps! Start by moving around in your own home. Start doing chores like cleaning the house to kickstart your fitness journey. Once you are comfortable to move in your own space, then plan to get out at least once a week at the start to do a fitness activity.
2. Choose an activity
There are plenty of options out there to begin your fitness journey that can be overwhelming. Choose one that you like, or have enjoyed in the past that suits your fitness level and ability. This way it will be easier to incorporate it into your daily life. Some activities many enjoy are swimming, hiking and kayaking.
3. Go for walks
Yes, you read that right. Walks! Many take walking for granted, but we at Achieve Fitness always encourage our Achievers to go out for walks as often as they can. A simple 5 minute walk outside can do a lot for you, instead of being couped up at home all day. By going outside, you will be able to get a breath of fresh air; hence, improving your blood flow.
4. Schedule your day
Planning your day ahead of time will make it easier for you to allocate time for fitness. There will also be more accountability if the schedule is not adhered to. Also, you will be able to look forward towards your day as you have things planned ahead of time!
5. Get professional help
Starting a fitness journey is overwhelming as it is, what more when you are doing it yourself. Do not hesitate to reach out to professionals to help you out! Here at Achieve Fitness, we create customized workout plans for our Achievers and we help them out as much as we can everyday. If in person sessions are overwhelming, we also provide various online courses for you to choose from!
A healthy body leads to a healthy mind and a healthy mind is the most important tool you can have. When you are feeling down and not in the mood to get up, make sure to try this instead. Remember taking baby steps is better compared to not doing anything at all.
Read more: 3 Mini Band Warm-Up Exercise for Running
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