Mental health is a constant conversation that has been on the tips of the tongues of many people around the world for the better part of the last 50 years. With many mental health issues pertaining to mood swings and other hormone-related disorders, many have speculated that physical activity may be the answer to make these individuals more relaxed and happy. Let’s look closer at the most common exercises that many people are using to help elevate their moods and improve their mental health.
The Prominence of Mental Health In America
According to the 2019 report, “The State of Mental Health in America” more than 10 million adults do not receive needed treatment for their mental health conditions. In 2017, an estimated 11 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older (4.5% of all U.S. adults) had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment. Approximately 35% of these adults did not receive treatment for their episodes. Therefore, we can see how widespread the issue is and how many Americans are unable to find a solution to what is now a chronic condition for most.
Exercising Away The Anxiety
Many Americans who either are without health insurance or have gaps in their current insurance coverage have been looking for a cost-effective solution for years. Little did they know that the solution to their anxiety and depression symptoms is as simple as exercising.
Being physically active is a treatment that can relieve your tension and stress, boost your physical and mental energy, and enhance your well-being through the release of endorphins. But not any exercise will improve your mental health; it needs to be something that you’re not going to zone out whilst doing.
If the activity requires you to focus on keeping your balance, feel the sensation of your feet hitting the ground or the rhythm of your breathing then that’s the exercise that you need to perform. By focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise you’ll not only improve your physical condition faster, but you may also be able to interrupt the flow of constant worries running through your head.
Walking is a great opportunity for you to set and achieve an attainable exercise goal that will build your confidence and lift your mood after you complete it. Walking is just fast enough to keep you alert, but slow enough to allow you to encourage yourself with positive affirmations. Gentle, low impact exercise may also be the best choice initially if you suffer from a physical health problem or are prone to panic attacks, which can affect your breathing.
If you’re not keen on hitting the pavement with a full force load-bearing exercise like walking, then cycling may very well be right up your alley. At first, it’s best to start off on a stationary bike first so that you can control your environment and focus on the exercise rather than oncoming traffic, wildlife, and other people. Research has found that both healthy individuals and individuals suffering from schizophrenia who exercised on stationary bikes were able to ease their symptoms such as impaired motor coordination and disorganized mental imagery.
If walking or cycling isn’t the solution to giving you the mind-body connection that you’re looking for, then it’s time to roll out your exercise mat and schedule a yoga session. Starting off slow with guided yoga can help you get your head in the game. Once you get a handle on yoga, it may invigorate you to try something that will warm up your heart rate a little more. If that’s the case, then you’ll be very happy to learn that there are many styles of yoga to choose from that can eliminate high-stress levels and help you control any negative thoughts that may be causing your anxiety, depression, and/or PTSD.