Brain & Body: Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise 

Whether it’s January 1st or you just can’t fit into a pair of jeans, you’ve probably considered working out. The thought of exercise also may have crossed your mind if you’ve been feeling depressed, anxious or mentally under the weather. Though hitting the gym does offer a variety of physical benefits, including weight loss and increased endurance and strength, it may also greatly improve mental health.

“Exercise” might be an intimidating word for some people. Many don’t realise that physical activity and exercise are not exactly synonymous. The former suggests any type of movement that requires energy, such as taking a flight of stairs or carrying the groceries inside, while the latter refers to a planned, structured and repetitive activity designed to improve fitness, such as kickboxing or jogging.

Fortunately, a workout plan can be designed to meet various lifestyle requirements and personal limitations. Not every workout session needs to include vigorous weightlifting or sprinting. Yoga is a low-impact activity that controls breathing, lowers blood pressure and natural stress responses, and increases energy. Walking at an incline boosts heart rate while allowing time to slow down and process thoughts. Pilates was initially created to connect the mind and body because of the emphasis on technique and mobility.

Hitting the gym will get you in shape, but the psychological advantages of exercise are not to be overlooked, especially for those struggling with mental illness. Learn more about how physical activity promotes mental wellness and how to stay motivated to lead an active lifestyle.

Author bio: Dan Borucki is an ISSA Certified Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer at Reclaim Fitness. He is committed to providing a level of service that is focused on the individual, whatever his or her needs and goals may be. Borucki strives to encourage, support and challenge his clients to feel stronger, healthier and more confident.

Photo Credits: iStock on Pixabay

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