Regular exercise is beneficial for both your physical and mental well being.
Physical activity, in general, is known to promote the release of serotonin in your brain, along with other chemicals that help to ward off any fits of anxiety and depression.
Physical activity also helps you sleep better, while also looking and feeling your best. Individuals who suffer from insomnia or hypersomnia may also benefit from physical activities, which help regulate your sleep/wake cycles. And of course, you don’t have to hit the gym on a daily basis to make sure that you get your needed daily exercise. These activities are great for both your physical and mental well being.
5 Activities that Are Just as Good Mentally as they are Physically
Even though it’s a low impact activity that will never easily exhaust you, kayaking will improve your overall cardiovascular fitness and will promote muscle strength. The activity also has a reduced risk of tearing joints and tissues, while still helping you stay in shape and drastically improve your mood.
On the other hand, kayaking is also very beneficial when it comes to clearing your mind and keeping you at ease. When you learn how to kayak, you’ll get to broaden your social circle by making friends in the kayaking community. This activity is also known for being a very effective stress-reliever, seeing as you get a chance to expose yourself to the great outdoors and get fresh air more often.
Taking long walks in nature will give you the same benefits of jogging without wearing you out as easily. The activity drastically improves your cardiovascular health with little effort, while also exposing you to surrounding nature. Individuals who consistently take long walks, whether to commute or for leisure, will gradually lose weight and improve their balance. Walking is also a great way to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood as well as reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Aside from feeling and looking fitter, walking gives you a break from every day worries. Individuals who walk often tend to drift off with their thinking, and contemplate about their surroundings. For those whose jobs are dependent on creativity, walking helps immensely with generating new ideas as well as solve problems.
Most of our lives are quite fast-paced, which can be very stressful. Even when we take a break to go to the gym, you’ll notice how many of us tend to rush on our way there, as well as go for the most strenuous and quickest paced workouts. On the contrary, Yoga is more of a meditative workout that focuses on balance and patience. Doing yoga regularly will help you get more flexible, increase your muscle strength, and maintain a healthy weight.
The mental benefits of yoga are also endless. Because it’s an activity that focuses on body awareness, it helps relieve stress, sharpen focus, and lengthen attention spans. It’s the kind of activity that has a lasting calming effect. After a long yoga session, your muscles will feel relaxed and it will feel as though you walked out of a massage parlor.
There have also been studies on how yoga affects individuals who are not neurotypical as well as those with mental illnesses. Recent studies suggest that yoga has a consequential effect on improving symptoms of schizophrenia when done alongside prescribed medication. It’s also known to naturally treat sleep disorders, namely insomnia, as it trains your brain to stop over-thinking and start contemplating to become more self-aware. Simply put, it’s a meditation for the body and mind.
A popular form of exercise, weight lifting is a strength training workout that can be done just about anywhere. If you don’t have dumbbells and don’t plan on buying them just to test the waters with this activity, using filled water bottles can suffice for beginners. Weight lifting helps boost metabolism, tone muscles and reduce body fat when done consistently. Individuals should never start with bigger weights, as this can put a strain on muscles, and in some cases, can permanently damage tendons. It’s best to lift weights with an instructor to make sure that your techniques are safe.
That said, there have also been numerous studies conducted on the mental health benefits of weight lifting, and the results are nothing short of astounding. Resistance training, in general, is known to improve symptoms of anxiety, and the workout doesn’t need to be strenuous, either. Even lifting the lightest weights will help manage symptoms of anxiety disorder and depression.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Although they’re certainly not an orthodox activity, they’re extremely beneficial both physically and mentally. Deep breathing can reduce stress and relax your every muscle. When you inhale slowly and deeply, your body releases endorphins that act as natural painkillers and mood stabilizers. The exercise also promotes blood flow as your diaphragm moves, which helps in expelling toxins from your body. This is why many individuals who incorporate deep breathing exercises in their daily routine report better bowel movement.
And because you’re introducing more oxygen into your blood, this activity can boost your energy levels. The best part is you can easily do these exercises wherever you might be. Some individuals also report seeing improvement with anxiety symptoms as well as sleep disorders. Additional benefits include reducing inflammation in your body and skin, as well as strengthening your immune system by facilitating the expulsion of toxins from your body.
Deep breathing is just as it sounds. There is no right or wrong way to do it, so long as you sit with your back straight and take deep breaths repeatedly. You can do this as much as you can, just make sure you breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth for best results.
Staying active and adapting your body to constant movement will add years to your life by reducing stress and keeping your body in optimum physical health. Because many of us now lead sedentary lifestyles, we’re often confused as to why our mental and physical health quickly deteriorates. Leading a more active lifestyle will help keep premature aging at bay, and will improve your overall mood and mental well being.