It is no secret that exercise can work like a charm on your physical fitness. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscles, recover from injury, or simply achieve a “Summer Body”, the gym is always your go-to haven. However, little do people know that working out can also do wonders for their mental fitness, especially if they are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress.
If you are wondering “how”, wonder no more! Here is everything you need to know about exercise and mental fitness.
How does it work?
We weren’t joking when we said that exercise has a huge impact on your mental health! Believe it or not, working out can treat stress, mild or moderate anxiety or depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to the extent that it can sometimes substitute antidepressant pills and psychotherapy. Yes, you have read that right!
When you work out, chemicals including dopamine, endorphins, serotine, and norepinephrine, are released in your brain. Dopamine and endorphins are the “happy hormones” that can put you at ease, relieve tension and boost your mood. Serotine as well is the “feel-good” hormone that uplifts your well-being. On the other hand, norepinephrine can leave you energized and more attentive. Moreover, exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn improves focus and concentration.
It is worth mentioning that exercise enlarges the “hippocampus”, a brain part related to memory. Moreover, it wards off negative thoughts accompanied by depression and anxiety, and constant worrying related to stress. It is considered a great distraction to focus on nothing but the exercise you are performing.
What exercises have a magic touch on mental illness?
Good news!! You don’t have to break a sweat all week long to start noticing results. You can start with 10 minutes per day and then try working out for 30 minutes, 3 days per week. The best part is that your options are limitless, so choose what ignites your joy the most. However, don’t forget to take the green light from your doctor before you start working out.
1. Walking: it’s promenade time!! Put on your comfy sneakers and enjoy the fresh air. Studies have shown that walking can trigger endorphins and enhance sleep quality. You can amp up your fitness plan, and try the treadmill as well.
2. Running: if you want to clear your mind, try running for at least 15 minutes per day. Just like walking, running can boost your mood and fend off insomnia.
3. Yoga: taking deep breaths is all you need! It goes without saying that yoga can ease anxiety thanks to the long calming breaths and sole focus on yourself and your body! Hence, there would be no room for the troubling negative thoughts and endless worry. Moreover, yoga can help you relax tense muscles that anxiety has caused.
4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): If you barely have time to work out then HIIT is your perfect fit. 30 minutes per week are enough to protect your heart and relieve depression and anxiety symptoms.
5. Resistance training: whether you prefer to lift weights or opt for bodyweight exercises, resistance training has a great impact on physical and mental fitness. It doesn’t only help you build muscle, but also improves your memory, decreases stress hormones, promotes mental clarity, and guarantees restful nights.
6. Spin class: the spin classes at PowerHouse Gym are always available to take proper care of your emotional well-being. If you would like to know more about this low-intensity exercise, check out Spinning Class: It’s More Than Just Spinning. you will definitely be tempted to join!
7. Boxing class: if you want to punch up your fitness journey then you have reached the right place! Fitness boxing at PowerHouse Gym will help you release all the stress on the punching bag. Moreover, it elevates your mood and energy, and helps you get proper sleep!
It can be hard for people battling mental illness to consider sticking to a workout routine. However, always remember that you are not alone, and our personal trainers are here to embark on your mental health journey with you.
Keep in mind that at PowerHouse Gym, we value your mental fitness as much as we value your physical fitness!