Start the New Year – 2021 with Positive Vibes and Happier Mood
When the topic of mental ill health is discussed, London never escapes from the list. In any given year, around 1 in 4 individuals in London experience a diagnosable mental health condition. While a third of these experience more than one condition simultaneously. Believe it or not, North West London has the 4th highest rate of Serious Mental Illness, according to a study on mental health and wellness.
Today, we will discuss whether physical fitness helps in improving mental health or not. If yes, then how.
Physical Health and Mental Health Are Interlinked.
Though there is a clear distinction between mind and body, they should not be considered separately, when it comes to health and wellbeing. Poor physical health plays a significant role in increasing the likeliness of developing mental health problems. The same is true for vice-versa. Both physical health and mental health are interrelated.
Mental health problems like chronic stress can wear down the body over time. Even negative emotions, such as anger, are found to be correlated with heart attacks and other physical problems. No matter how much people want to disregard the fact, exercises, yoga, and meditation can truly help people with mental health conditions along with counseling and therapies.
Exercise Benefits for Mental Health
Often, the importance of exercise is not properly understood by people and health professionals. Moreover, exercise is also neglected in mental health care, which should not be the case. Here is why.
- Improves Anxiety and Depression
Aerobic exercises are known to improve anxiety and depression. The improvements in mood are caused by an exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which affects the physiologic reactivity to stress.
This physiologic influence is mediated by the interaction of the HPA axis with several regions of the brain, such as the limbic system – which controls motivation and mood, the amylgada – which generates fear in response to stress, and the hippocampus – which helps in memory formation and plays an important in mood and motivation too.
- Promotes Self-Efficacy, Social Interaction, and Distraction from Stress Triggers
Following a physical fitness routine, especially under the guidance of someone who motivates you, guides you, supports you, and helps you achieve your goals, for instance, hiring a personal trainer can lead to beneficial effects on mental health because your fitness routine and workouts result in distraction, self-efficacy, and social interaction.
- Improves Self-Esteem, Cognitive Function, and Weight Control
Regular exercise also reduces anxiety, depression, and negative mood by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. It also alleviates the symptoms of social withdrawal. Patients with mental health conditions who have gone under fitness training programs are reported to gain improvements in weight control, increased exercise tolerance, stable blood pressure levels, boosted perceived energy levels, increased body strength, increased grip strength, and much more.
In short, following an exercise routine properly can lead to various health benefits, such as:
- Improved sleep
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improved mood
- Increased energy level
- Increased stamina
- Balanced weight
- Reduced cholesterol
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Reduced tiredness
- Increased mental alertness
So, you can easily gather that exercising and working out makes you healthy from the inside out. Be it your mind or body, everything is improved and balanced once you get active physically. Thus, looking for a personal trainer in London or anywhere you live is a worthwhile decision.
However, one important thing to remember is that people who have mental health conditions should also consider getting help from mental health practitioners because exercise helps improve their mental health but it is not a replacement for mental health services and practices.