Regular exercise is often associated with its benefits for your physical health. But what most people overlook are the significant affects that regular exercise can play in the wellbeing of our mental health.
In the short article we have worked through how exercise can support your mental health.
WHAT COUNTS AS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
The Chief Medical Officer’s guidance is for us all to achieve 5 sessions of 30 minutes moderate physical activity per week, which adds up to 150 minutes. It might sound like a lot when we all have busy lives with family commitments, fulltime work plus all of the others things you need to fit into the week, but actually it can be much easier to achieve than you think. Simply walking the dog and climbing the stairs counts on top of going to the gym or having a swim. Anything is better than nothing!
THE IMPACT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
In supporting our mental health, there are a number of factors that regular exercise has been proven to affect:
Mood Enhancement: Research has shown that physical activity significantly elevates your mood. People report feeling more content and awake after physical activity than periods of inactivity.
Stress Relief: Exercise induces a stress response that is more regulated than the ‘fight or flight’ reaction, helping us handle stress better. People who are active typically report lower stress levels compared to their less active counterparts. Regular exercise can reduce stress by up to 30%.
Boost in Self-esteem: Exercise has been found to positively impact self-esteem across all age groups and genders. In helps you to feel good about yourself from an achievement perspective, but also feeling body confident.
Cognitive Benefits: For older adults, physical activity has been shown to decrease the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. There’s a 20-30% lower risk of depression and dementia for those participating in daily physical activity.
Depression and Anxiety: Exercise can act as an alternative or supplementary treatment for depression and anxiety. I in 6 of us will experience depression or anxiety each year, so every little helps in reducing the incidences and effects of this.
MAKING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MORE ACCESSIBLE
Overcoming barriers to exercise can be challenging. Motivation, cost, and time constraints are some common obstacles. However, social support and practical planning can go a long way in helping you integrate physical activity into your daily life. Remember, you don’t have to make monumental changes overnight. Even minor adjustments like taking the stairs or walking a bit more can add up.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION!
So if you are thinking of getting started and moving a bit more to support your health, why not claim a free 1 day guest pass and try going to the gym, having a swim or taking a class. you can do this by simply visiting https://www.lleisure.co.uk/free-1-day-gym-membership/