Whether it’s COVID-19 or just your daily grind, the sedentary lifestyle we’ve adopted can contribute to mental health problems. Uncertainty and feeling powerless over what we are experiencing around us are some of the biggest stress-inducing factors, therefore it is important to remind ourselves of the benefits of exercise for the mind.
Exercise plays an important role in mental wellbeing and can even alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. A person’s mental health determines how they cope with stress, interact with others, and make life choices. While self-quarantine and social distancing might make daily exercise more challenging, staying active is still possible with a few modifications to your normal routine.
Discover the unexpected ways that exercise can positively affect your mental health:
The Science Behind Exercise For The Mind
Daily exercise has been shown to alleviate many of these depressive symptoms by boosting one’s mood, improving cognitive function, and reducing anxiety. Exercise also releases endorphins in the brain that elevate your mood naturally while contributing to an increased sense of self-esteem and personal accomplishment.
A key reason for this is an increase in the levels of serotonin in the brain during exercise, which regulates mood, sleep, and neuron production. An increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes has also been linked to mental disorders. Even so, despite your tendency to wallow in negativity, remember to take a step back and check-in with yourself, whether it’s a quick walk down the driveway or an intense workout session at the gym.
Every person responds differently to exercise, thus not every fitness routine will work the same for everyone. An interesting finding of a study involving exercise to improve mental health and treat depression and bipolar disorder was that aerobic and anaerobic exercise was necessary based on the individual’s symptoms. Here’s how:
- Aerobic Exercise: A study determined that aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, dancing, even outdoor chores, like gardening, can reduce anxiety and increase blood circulation in the brain.
- Anaerobic exercise: Short sprints or an occasional game of basketball or soccer provide health benefits and lift your mood. Avoid doing these to the point that it overwhelms you.
- Outdoor exercise: While any exercise is better than none at all, getting outside to exercise can provide additional benefits such as lowering stress, enhancing your mood, and supplying Vitamin D to your system.
- Moderate exercise: The best way to reap the mental benefits of exercise and boost your mood is to reduce overtraining or long periods of intense exercise, which has been shown to have detrimental effects on the mind and overall health. Finding the right balance and making your workout light and fun are said to be key.
Here are a few tips to bear in mind if you need to reap the most out of the mind-body exercises:
- Add your own flair to it: Create a routine that combines different activities every day and works on your weak points. At Warehouse Gym, we offer a wide spectrum of classes to tailor your journey to health and wellness. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to build more strength but have never been able to find the time on the run. Would this be the ideal time to build mental stamina with the best gym in Dubai?
- Try at least a few paces: Running for just 15 minutes per day can provide you with most of the benefits you’ll need to feel better, stay healthy, and stave off depression and several other mental health conditions. If you’re struggling to stay motivated to workout for an extended period, consider multiple short workouts including a 10-minute walk around the neighbourhood, a push-up session in the afternoon or a quick morning yoga workout.
- Connect with us: While staying present is a challenge during Covid-19, don’t let it keep you from getting together with others during your workouts. Schedule at least one weekly workout with us and complete it together here at the best gym in Dubai. There’s nothing more fulfilling than exercising with people who truly enjoy being active. And if you are worried that you won’t know what to do, worry no more. We have fitness instructors around the gym that is always ready to assist and help out. Personal trainers are also available if you are looking to have a one on one session.