Listen to “A Workout for your Mental Health”.
The current time of crisis is generating significant stress and creating uncertainties for people globally. How long will we have to socially distance ourselves from others? How will our work be disrupted in the future? How will we make financial ends meet? A lot is going on in the world at the minute, and it’s not easy to keep calm and carry on.
Having peace of mind requires not letting the environment affect your stress levels, regardless of the chaos around you. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to take proactive steps to be mentally healthy, just as you would if you wanted to be physically fit.
Your physical and mental health go hand-in-hand. You have to keep yourself healthy, both mentally and physically, to stay strong. Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative moods and improving your self-esteem and cognitive functions.
The health benefits of regular exercise, which should be emphasised and reinforced by every mental health professional to their patients, include the following:
- Improved sleep
- Increased interest in sex
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improved mood
- Increased energy and stamina
- Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
- Weight reduction
- Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness
It’s not easy to maintain a physically active routine when you feel low, and it can be tempting to swap your office chair for the sofa. However, it is absolutely necessary, and after a few days of doing minimal exercise, your body will start to ache.
Thirty minutes of moderately intensive exercise 3 days a week is sufficient to start seeing the health benefits mentioned above. Moreover, these 30 minutes don’t need to be continuous; three 10-minute walks are equally useful as one 30-minute walk.
Studies show that exercise in nature has even more benefits by:
- reducing the body’s stress response
- lowering cortisol levels and blood pressure
- Instilling a sense of awe, which boosts mood.
Even just five minutes of exercise outside will help to reduce anxiety.
Getting out of the house and back into nature is more important than many people realise. Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory, and makes you feel relieved. Combined with physical activity, it can be priceless during these challenging times.
You can track your daily activity with the DeepH app; plus, if you don’t like wearing a fitness tracker, you can manually add info about your workout times and activity types to help you keep on track.