3 Best Types of Exercise for Mental Health
While I am sure we all know some people who do not exercise and seem to do quite well without it, for most of us, exercise contributes to our well-being. Not just physical fitness, but mental fitness too. Some would even add spiritual fitness–if there is such a thing 😛
The non-physical benefits of exercise are often overlooked. Everyone talks about how exercise can make your waistline smaller or make your heart healthier, etc. Few talk about just how helpful exercise is for your mental well-being.
Just as there are certain exercises that you can use to target certain parts of your body, there are certain kinds of exercises that you can use target your mental health. In this article, we are going to go over the 3 best types of exercises for mental health.
Aerobic exercises are designed to get your body moving and your heart pumping. A good aerobic workout will exercise a lot of different muscle groups, and it will make you sweat. Because aerobics encourages you to move around a lot, it really gets your blood moving. When your blood circulates faster, that means that your cells are getting more oxygen. As anyone who has taken rudimentary biology can tell you, oxygen is what keeps all your cells (including the ones in your brain) healthy and functioning at peak performance.This is why aerobics is good for your mental health. Not to mention the rush of endorphins that are proven to make you feel good! 🙂
Yoga is great for your mental health for 2 distinct reasons. Firstly, much like aerobics, yoga gets you moving. It exercises a ton of different muscles in your body and gets your blood pumping (although admittedly, not as fast as aerobics would). The second benefit of yoga is its calming, stress-reducing factor. Controlled breathing and mental relaxation are big parts of yoga, and they have a very positive effect on your mental health. Things like controlled breathing reduce stress and anxiety, which is obviously very good for your mental health.
Running (which is really a type of aerobic exercise) is great for your mental health. Many people run outdoors, and studies show that outdoor exercise alone is good for your mood. Not only does it get your blood pumping and reduce stress, it also gives you the famous “runner’s high.” A runner’s high results in a flood of endorphins being released into your body. These endorphins not only help reduce stress levels, but they also help fight off mental illnesses like depression. Endorphins make you feel energized and better about yourself.
So, there you have it, the 3 best types of exercises for mental health. Again, you may not feel as if you need organized exercise, and I know people who do not formally exercise who seem quite fit and happy 🙂 But if you do enjoy or need or want to exercise, now you know some added benefits of the types discussed 🙂
To your health!
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