Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has a range of benefits for your mental health. Physical activity actually releases endorphins to your brain which will make you feel happier, calmer and help you to clear your mind. There are several other ways exercise can help you keep both your mind and body in shape.
Since exercising regularly can help to improve your physical appearance by building muscle mass, increasing tone, and helping to lose weight. This can help to give your self-esteem a boost, resulting in increased levels of self-confidence, which in turn can have a positive effect on your stress levels.
Studies have shown that regular exercise can help to prevent against diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even some cancers. Since poor physical health can be one of the biggest causes of feeling stressed or at the very least contribute to increasing anxiety levels in stressful situations, exercising regularly can help to reduce stress by giving us less to be stressed about.
Regular exercise can also help with issues such as muscle or joint pain, allowing you to feel better, stronger, and overall healthier. In turn, you’ll feel more able to take on stressful situations and will be less likely to be worried about dealing with pain and discomfort. With less pain, you are also more likely to engage in social activities, which can not only decrease your stress but also help prevent depression and other mental health illness.
Getting Started With Exercise
If your lifestyle has been more on the sedentary side than that of the active recently, there’s nothing to worry about as gentle exercise is often enough to help improve your stress levels. If you’re taking up exercising regularly for the first time or haven’t done much exercise for some time, it’s important to make sure that you start off slowly and gently in order to make sure that you give your body the time to get used to the increase in activity and gradually improve your strength.
Jumping straight from the sofa to a strenuous exercise routine can actually do more damage than good. Don’t feel bad if you can only do a little bit of exercise at first – as you continue to practice, you will be able to increase the amount that you do.
Yoga is one of the best exercises which you can do in order to combat feelings of stress and anxiety. Yoga is designed to not only improve fitness levels, strength and balance, but also clear the mind and help reduce stressful thoughts and feelings.
Taking part in yoga not only allows you to improve your levels of fitness and strength to be healthier overall, but it can also strengthen your mind and help you to feel more at peace with yourself and everything around you. Yoga is also often associated with mindfulness meditation, which can be extremely useful for dealing with stress and anxiety.
Another benefit of yoga is that it is often done socially – joining a yoga class means that not only will you be able to benefit from the physical and mental health benefits of taking part in yoga, but you will also be able to reap the social benefits of meeting new friends and getting support, something which can be incredibly useful for dealing with stress and anxiety.
Your Regular Routine
While exercise can create a great ‘quick fix’ for those who are feeling anxious and stressed out, sticking to a regular exercise routine can actually help to improve symptoms in the long run. Doctors recommend that people who are suffering from chronic stress, depression or anxiety to make sure that they get plenty of time in the gym.
But don’t worry if you can’t or don’t want to join a gym or fitness center, as there are plenty of exercises which you can do from the comfort of your own home. For the best physical and mental results, you should mix a range of cardiovascular and weight training exercises.
This could include walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, for example, along with exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, sit-ups, crunches, and stretches. Combining these two types of exercises will not only improve your mental health by releasing feel-good chemicals to your brain, you will also reap the benefits of a body which is stronger and healthier.