There are a lot of direct links between the health of your physical body and your mental state. Exercise has many effects that stretch beyond the physical and impact your mental well-being. It has been shown to increase self-confidence and lower stress and anxiety.
How Exercise Affects the Most Common Mental Health Conditions
In this case, the mental stress you experience can actually show in physical symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms that people have are headaches, back and neck pain. Some people even find that they experience insomnia, muscle cramps and even heartburn. Taking time to exercise can actually stop or prevent many of these symptoms. Many people find that lifting weights is the best way to reduce tension when they are stressed, while some find repetitive cardio exercises such as running and biking allows them the space to work through problems.
There are studies that show the use of exercise can treat mild to moderate depression. The combination of a temporary distraction and a way to channel your energy into a specific activity is a great way to promote feelings of well-being. Exercise also releases endorphins that energize your brain and make you feel good. This is great news for people who are wary of taking medication. Keep in mind, we are not doctors and recommend that you consult a health professional before making any drastic changes in your life.
Just like depression, the endorphins that are released during exercise are powerful anxiety relievers. A exercise routine is a great way to manage your anxiety and give yourself time everyday to relax and practice some mindfulness. If you experience a surge in overthinking or worry during the day, even taking a short walk can help to calm your internal dialogue and find a more relaxing state.
How to Overcome Mental Barriers
When you are feeling exhausted, working out probably seems counterintuitive. Even though you are expending energy, working out can actually be a great energizer and has been shown to help people have longer and higher quality sleep. By working out today, you will sleep better tonight and wake up refreshed tomorrow. Make a plan and stick with it. Soon it will become a regular part of your week.
Finding time in your busy day to workout can seem like just another obligation. This is where a change in mindset because very valuable. Change the way you see your time at the gym, from another obligation to some time you take just for yourself. Make it a priority in your life and you will soon find that you will look forward to your gym time and schedule all your other responsibilities around it.
If you are feeling pain from an injury or existing condition, it can be difficult to get into a routine at the gym. However, working with a trainer will allow you to find exercises that allow you to train safely without pain or further injury.
How to Get Started?
Talk about it
Our society is improving when it comes to understanding mental illness. By continuing to encourage people to talk about what they are experiencing, we will keep working towards reducing the stigma surrounding the topic. Find a trusted friend, family member or counsellor who you can confide in, and you will release a little pressure on yourself.
You don’t need to jump in and start working out for long hours in the gym. Small steps including walking or starting a short workout routine can kickstart your endorphins and start to give you the benefits of exercise without changing your whole life.
Make a plan
Plan out your week with the days and times that you will workout. By developing a schedule you will feel more accountable and are more likely to stick to your goals.
Work with someone
Finding a workout buddy can be great for motivation. If you find a friend who can workout at the same times as you, it will create accountability. If you are looking for guidance and accountability, a personal trainer can also help.
Get in touch with One Life Fitness today to discover the options we have to help you find your most healthy self.