At its most basic level, physical activity is any movement of our body that makes use of your muscles and consumes energy. One of the greatest things about physical exercise is the abundance of possibilities and the fact that there is an activity to suit almost everyone. It is recommended that adults exercise 75 to 150 minutes each week on average. This can be high-intensity activity like jogging, swimming swiftly, aerobics, or rope skipping, or it can be low-intensity movement like strolling, hiking, or riding. Exercise includes any action that makes you breathe more quickly, feel warmer, or increase your heart rate.
According to the government, wellness is “a favorable physical, social, and mental state.” For our purposes, mental health is our main concern.
Although there isn’t a single, universal definition of mental well-being, it does include things like:
- The ability to function well on our own or in partnerships;
- The capacity to cope with lives ups and downs, including overcoming obstacles and seizing chances.
- Having a purpose in life and being appreciated;
- A sense of connection towards your community and the people around you.
- Possessing freedom and control over our lives.
Naturally, having good mental health does not imply constant happiness or the absence of unpleasant or painful feelings like grief, sorrow, or loss, which are a normal part of life. But regardless of your age, being physically active can assist you live a healthy life both psychologically and physically.
The potential for physical activity to improve our wellbeing is enormous. Even a little session of brisk walking for 10 minutes improves our mental clarity, vitality, and disposition. Regular exercise can lower stress and anxiety while also boosting our sense of self-worth. It contributes to both the prevention of mental health issues and the enhancement of the quality of life for those who already have them. These mental health issues can also be addressed by Clinical Psychologist Dr. R K Suri. He can help you in resolving mental health issues and helps in enhancement of life.
How exercise affects our mood:
It has been proven that exercising makes us feel better. Participants in a study were asked to rate how they felt before and after intervals of exercise (such as strolling or doing chores) and inactivity (such as reading or watching television). Researchers found that people felt better, more attentive, and calmer after physical activity than they did after periods of inactivity.
Numerous studies have examined the effects of physical activity on people’s moods at various levels of intensity. In general, studies have shown that low-intensity aerobic exercise, performed for 30-35 minutes, 3-5 days a week, over 10-12 weeks, was most effective for elevating good moods (such as zeal and alertness).
How exercise affects our stress levels:
When things happen that create a sense of feeling threatened or throw off our equilibrium in some way, our body’s defenses kick in and trigger a stress reaction, which can cause us to suffer various physiological symptoms that are uncomfortable, changes our behavior and there is an increase in the intensity of our emotional experiences.
Difficulty falling asleep, a lot of sweating, increased heart rate and loss of or rise in appetite is the most commonly seen physiological symptoms of stress. These symptoms, also referred to as the “fight or flight” reaction, are brought on by an increase in stress hormones in human bodies. Adrenaline and noradrenalin are the hormones that cause our blood pressure to raise, our heart rates to rise, and our sweating to increase, preparing our body for an emergency response. Although cortisol, another stress hormone, delivers sugar and fat into the system to improve our energy, they can also decrease blood supply to the skin and stomach activities.
Stress relief from exercising can be very powerful. Adults who are very active tend to experience less stress than those who are less active, according to studies on employed adults.
How exercise affects our self- esteem:
Exercise is good for our physical wellbeing, but it may also make us feel better about ourselves. Self-esteem refers to how we think of ourselves and how much we value ourselves. It is a crucial sign of our mental health and our capacity to handle life’s stresses. It has been demonstrated that exercise is good for our sense of value and self-esteem. Children, adolescents, young adults, adults, and seniors, as well as both males and females, have all demonstrated this association.
Impact of exercise on depression and anxiety:
Exercise has been found though research to be an alternate treatment method for mental health illnesses like depression. It can be utilized as a stand-alone therapy or in conjunction with drugs and/or counseling. It has few negative effects and lacks the taboo that some individuals believe is associated with using antidepressants or going to counseling and psychotherapy. Exercise can lower anxiety levels in those who only experience mild symptoms, and it may also be beneficial in treating clinical anxiety. Physical activity is accessible to everyone, comes with little expenditures, and is an empowering strategy that can aid with self-management.
There are numerous theories as to why exercise helps lessen anxiety and depressive symptoms, and researchers aren’t quite convinced which hypothesis is true. These are a few of the hypotheses:
- Action of neurotransmitters has increased
- Increases self-esteem which is found to be low in those who suffer from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
- Release of accumulated energy, which reduces anxiety
- Acts as a diversion or coping strategy
- Chances for social interaction are created
Making changes in your life can be a little frightening, and most individuals experience anxiety when they try something new. Some frequent obstacles, including expense, illness or injury, fatigue, failure anxiety, or even the weather, might prevent people from starting; however, having both emotional and practical support of friends, family, and professionals and Online Counsellor truly helps. Exercise participation may be hampered by one’s body image. Exercise may be avoided by people who are concerned about just how their bodies will appear to others when they are exercising. Along with this, exercising alongside a friend might make you feel less self-conscious about how your body seems to others.
Healthy body healthy mind!