Mental Health and Physical Activity: How they are Linked
Exercise is often seen as a way to improve physical health, but it is also beneficial for mental health. Research has shown that physical activity is linked to improved mental health, and understanding how these two are connected can help people better manage their mental health.
Benefits of Physical Activity for Mental Health
Physical activity has many positive effects on mental health. Regular physical activity can help to:
- Reduce stress – Exercise can help to reduce stress levels by lowering levels of cortisol, the hormone released during times of stress. It also increases levels of endorphins, the hormones that make us feel good.
- Improve mood – Exercise can help to improve mood by releasing endorphins, which have been shown to have a positive effect on mood. Regular exercise can also help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Increase self-esteem – Regular exercise can help to increase self-esteem by helping individuals to feel more confident and capable. Exercise can also help to improve physical appearance, which can further boost self-esteem.
Physical Activity for Mental Health
Exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health, so it’s important to make sure to get enough physical activity. There are many ways to incorporate physical activity into a daily routine, including:
- Taking a walk
- Going for a run or jog
- Riding a bike
- Playing sports
- Doing yoga or Pilates
Incorporating physical activity into a daily routine can help to improve mental health, but it’s important to ensure the activity is safe and appropriate for the individual. If someone is just starting to exercise, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the activity. It’s also important to choose activities that are enjoyable, as this can help to increase motivation and make it easier to stick with the activity.
Physical activity is linked to improved mental health, and incorporating regular physical activity into a daily routine can have many positive effects. It’s important to ensure the activity is safe and appropriate for the individual, and to choose activities that are enjoyable. With the right approach, physical activity can be a powerful tool for improving mental health.