Exercise & Mental Health
We all have our own mountains to climb. What matters isn't how fast we scale the peak, but that we push ourselves harder than the day before. That strength is given to us by the mind's willpower.
"Sports participation is an important factor in the mental health of athletes. Understanding that a change in sports participation affects mental health, in addition to significant components of an athlete's life, including overall health and fitness, future career plans, current and future financial status, and available social network, is essential." (Coleman & Roberts, 2021)
In 2018, a review was conducted on five studies to determine if exercise interventions are effective in reducing cardiometabolic risk and relieving symptoms in individuals with severe mental illness. These studies recruited and provided exercise interventions for mental health staff. In the end, evidence indicated that exercise interventions intended for mental health staff can not only enhance staff health but also promote more favorable views toward the importance of lifestyle interventions for those suffering from mental illness. (Fibbins, Ward, Watkins, Curtis, & Rosenbaum, 2018)
Perseverance is key to striving for success. If you can set your mind to it, you are halfway there. Remember to maintain a mind-body mentality.
Meet Your Goals
It is important to create SMART goals:
Be the Best You
It’s easy to do great work when you believe in what you do. Finding a sport you enjoy or simply staying active throughout your daily routine can help to keep you in shape.
How much exercise is enough?
According to the CDC, meeting the minimum requirement of 150 minutes a week of moderate-vigorous intensity aerobic activity and 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities should be enough to bring about health benefits.
Full-body workouts such as push-ups, lunges, and skipping rope are all great ways to improve adaptability towards a healthy lifestyle. Jogging/walking in intervals or doing circuits helps to amplify intensity. Equipment-based exercises include cycling, rowing, and playing a sport.
Having access to a barbell, kettlebell, or dumbbell allows you to perform a variety of flexion-extension movements. Resistance bands are also a useful option as you are able to apply the appropriate force without changing size of weight.
Words of Thought
Our mental health largely influences how we perceive exercise, our strengths and limitations when exercising, and the challenges we face in doing so. Do not beat yourself down over relapsing into a sedentary lifestyle. Instead, motivate yourself to get back up and try again. You can guarantee that both the physiological and psychological aspects of exercise are in your favor.