how exercise helps your mental health.
We all know that exercise is good for our physical health, but it can also improve our mental health and wellbeing.
a mood booster.
If you exercise regularly, you will know how good it makes you feel. It gives you a boost in energy and releases endorphins, which make you feel amazing! A study carried out by the Mental Health Foundation showed the fantastic impact exercise can have on wellbeing. The research asked people to rate their mood immediately after periods of physical activity (such as brisk walking or jogging) and periods of inactivity such as reading or watching tv.
Researchers discovered that the participants felt more content, more awake and calmer after doing exercise than being inactive. They also found that the effect on mood was most significant when the mood was initially low, showing how exercise really does boost your mood and improve your mental health! Taking part in exercise regularly would really benefit your mental health in the long run, as well as your fitness.
break the stigma.
There seems to be a stigma around exercise with regards to the expectation of what counts. However, this needs to change as low-intensity exercise is so beneficial for our mental health. There are several studies by the Mental Health Foundation that look at physical activity at different levels of intensity and its influence on people’s mood.
These studies have found that low-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, for 30-35 minutes 4 or 5 times a week, for 10-12 weeks is the most effective at increasing positive moods (e.g., happiness and enthusiasm). So, the stigma around how quickly you walk and how fast you can run 5km needs to be squished, as all exercise counts towards a happier you!
You probably think this all sounds great, but how can I incorporate exercise into my busy schedule, and how much should I be doing? The Department of Health recommends that adults aim to be active and complete 2.5 hours of medium intensity exercise a week. This equates to about 30 minutes a day. This may sound like a lot, but do not be scared as we have lots of recommendations on how to get started.
how to get started.
Once you have made the decision to become more active, ask yourself a few questions:
What do you want to get out of your exercise?
Would you prefer to be outdoors or indoors?
Do you want to do it alone or with other people?
Would you like to take up a new sport?
When you have established the direction, you want to go in regarding your exercise, you can make a personal plan! Incorporate exercise into your daily life. Set aside 30 minutes each day to indulge in your chosen physical activity. You could make a timetable to motivate yourself, join classes in your chosen activity, so you have a set time or make plans to exercise with friends. These are all little ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily life, motivate yourself and really improve your mental health. So, get active and get those endorphins flowing. You won’t regret it!