Exercise The Blues Away: Improve Physical And Mental Health

Physical exercise serves various functions in our lives. Most exercise regimens lead to positive results. The only drawback to exercise is when one exceeds physical activity for their fitness level. Too much too soon is never the method. Aside from that one fact, exercise has countless benefits. Getting physical results in improved physical and mental health that can transform your life.

Exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant – Author unkown

 Ways To Get Active

 Physical activity does not require a long-term expensive gym membership or countless hours of lost time running back and forth to the gym. The important part is getting active no matter the used method. So get creative and use a technique that is likely to keep your attention and motivation. For some the gym lacks that personal feel and can be monotonous which will lead in failure. Some clever ways aside from the gym to stay active include:

  • Brisk walks around your neighborhood
  • Co-ed local sports teams
  • Swimming in personal pool/community pool
  • Yoga
  • Martial arts
  • Boxing
  • Training for a marathon
  • Volunteering at a school or shelter
  • Volunteer for a local youth sports team
  • Yard work

Moods Connection To Exercise

 Many chemicals that are created and excreted in the brain are responsible for moods – both with positive and negative results. Most importantly when speaking about depression and mood – serotonin is most significant. Serotonin is a chemical that is naturally produced to regulate mood and has been found responsible for happy moods. This chemical has also been found to be missing in those that are experiencing depression. Thereby, regulating and aiding the production of this chemical is very important. Exercise has been found to help produce and improve excretion of serotonin. Therefore, exercise becomes a win-win activity. It motivates both physical health while maintaining positive mental health.

Improved Physical Health

 Heart – physical activity burns fat that may accumulate around many organs, including the heart. Anytime a person increases their resting heart rate into a more active rhythm one improves the strength of their heart muscle. Improved heart muscle equates to a healthier overall heart. Not to mention better blood flow leading to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

 Lungs – increased physical activity requires the lungs to play a significant role. With regular workouts the lungs must react to the demand upon them by functioning more effectively.   As lungs become healthier ones endurance to physical activity also increases. Therefore, the body has a better ability to respond to an active lifestyle and can lead to more activities.

 Muscles – along the same lines, muscles are strengthened with use and reduce the likelihood of injuries due to poor muscle health. Muscles protect bones, ligaments and tendons and exercise helps all parts function holistically, which increases ones ability for overall body health.

In addition to the health benefits to organs, exercise aids in fighting off disease and obesity. Physical activity helps to reduce high blood pressure and improves the “good” cholesterol HDL. Other medical issue such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and fall risks have also been known to reduce with physical activity.

Improved Mental Health

 Mood – physical activity gets blood moving and helps to create serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a needed chemical used to regulate moods, especially positive moods. Plus, exercise works on every system of the body – mind and body, which then reflects to how own feels about the self.

 Energy – getting the blood moving helps to increase energy, especially when the body is operating as intended. Energy is a direct result of mood. Feeling blue drains energy, but getting up and exercising creates energy. As one finds routine in exercise where energy is appropriately expended then sleep patterns commonly fall into place as well. So if you are having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep then exercise may solve that frustration.

 Self-esteem – when improving overall health, self-perception is likely to follow. Self-esteem is directly linked to various physical components such as physical appearance. Who doesn’t feel better when they interpret looking better? An added bonus to feeling better results in responding to your partner more actively. Yes, I am talking about sex. When one feels better about personal attributes and has energy as a bonus – one is more likely to have a more active sex life.

Social life – everyone feels better with friends. Getting active opens opportunities to make social connections. Especially if joining an exercise class or a sports team, friendships will certainly grow. Plus everyone that you are working out with will probably have similar goals and thereby are more apt to be a motivating and supportive factor.

 

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Starting A Routine

Knowing the facts about the benefits of exercise will not fix a thing. But creating a routine will certainly put you in the right direction. Making a plan for success is a great starting point. Make a list including how many days a week you intend on working out and for how long. It is recommended to exercise at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes. Though, working out more often and for a longer period of time will only improve all the above-mentioned areas.

Being accountable leads to better results so keeping a log will help out with that process. If accountability is problematic for you, try joining a class or a sport that requires committed practice times.   Evaluate your needs, restrictions and hoped outcomes. Tailor a plan for you based upon those factors. Remember work toward a common outcome rather than working against yourself.

Before starting any new routine make an appointment with your treating physician for a check-up. Particularly have an exam that evaluates vitamin deficiencies or concerns with heart, bone or lung health.

Get out and get moving.

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2 thoughts on “Exercise The Blues Away: Improve Physical And Mental Health

  1. This is the kick in the pants that I need. My schedule has been off all month and it’s been so windy and rainy that I haven’t been able to ride my bike every weekday or to snowshoe on weekends. I have not been moving enough!

    I’ve been pretty darn grumpy all week and feeling stretched almost to my limit. You just reminded me that I will feel a whole lot better if I just get moving a bit. So, tomorrow I’m driving up into the mountains to find some snow, some fresh air and some views. I will think of you!

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