The Surprising Way Exercise Affects Your Mental Health!
We are all familiar with the fact that an inactive lifestyle can cause chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even osteoporosis. So, if you recently decided to start exercising more, this is for you.
But, how much do you think physical exercise will affect your mental health?
Rates of anxiety and depression are at their highest levels in the UK, U.S., China, and India. The reason for such frightening numbers is the modern lifestyle – bad diets, social isolation, and inactivity.
One thing you can take care of is inactivity. You can try to walk more, exercise, and improve your quality of life. Maybe go to the beach and take a swim. This way your body will produce enkephalins and endorphins.
These are the body’s natural reserves of good hormones that let us deal with our problems easily. Also, by exercising more, you can break from the current damaging self-talk and concerns that cause your mental instability. (1)
You may also benefit from calming exercises that can refill your energy. This way, you can improve your general health and mood.
The Need for Exercise Needs to Be Recognized
Even though physical exercise is fundamental for the mental health, it is not made an obvious solution to our problems, especially since we strongly believe there is a distinction from ‘’mind’’ and ‘’body’’. But, that in fact is a lie.
Our mental health is strongly connected to our body. If we are happy, our body will be less prone to chronic illnesses. Also, some studies claim that exercising for at least an hour a day can help deal with depression. (2)
This type of activity can also keep us healthy as we age, says a Harvard Study. (3)
According to other studies, exercise can help deal with moderate or mild depression, anxiety, and dementia. It might also reduce the cognitive problems in people with schizophrenia. (4)
In other words, exercise can directly affect the brain. Regular exercises can boost the volume of some brain regions and improve the neuronal health by allowing normal delivery of nutrients and oxygen in the entire body. (5)
How Much Do I Really Need to Exercise?
According to Madhukar Trivedi, a certified psychiatrist, around 3 or more sessions of aerobics per week are necessary to obtain the much-needed benefits.
He suggests that is best to exercise from 45 to at least 60 minutes per sessions if you want to be able to treat chronic depression. (6) However, to notice any effects, you have to wait for 4 weeks. This is exactly how long neurogenesis takes.
The moment you start noticing results, you should continue exercising for 10 to 12 weeks to get the full anti-depressant effects. This may seem like a tremendous amount of exercise, but no real treatment comes for free.
That is why dedication and determination are the keys to making it work. By exercising that much, you can also be able to lose some weight, boost your energy and improve your skin health.
That is why enough exercise is always rewarding. What do you think? Can exercise replace mainstream medications for treating chronic mental health problems? Do these findings deserve more attention than they are actually getting?
What do you prioritize for the sake of treating your mental health condition? Let us know in the comments.