Workouts or exercises not only provides physical benefits but also psychological benefits. This is the reason exercises are part and parcel of many psychiatric and psychotherapy treatments. Some of the benefits are that it helps with reducing stress, tension, manage anxiety, helps improve focus, etc. Also, research has shown that physical activity helps in prevention, as well as reducing the symptoms of mental disorders. Apart from this, it helps with the improvement of cognitive functions like memory, and this is especially useful for older people. Shared below are details on how exercise benefits mental health.
Impact Of Exercise On Mental Health
Exercise helps to control anxiety, as well as decreases the severity and frequency of anxiety disorders like panic attacks. Because of this, mental health professionals prescribe physical activities like sports as part of their treatment regimen. This is also because it reduces fear, worry, and is a proactive way to manage tension. Also, there is the added advantage of reducing the body’s sensitivity to triggers that invoke anxiety response.
Types Of Exercises To Manage Anxiety
Yoga: This is one of the most common exercises practiced by people to manage anxiety and stress. Some of its benefits are that it lowers heart rate, reduces stress response, increases energy levels, lowers psychological arousal, lower blood pressure, and improves respiration.
Tai Chi: The tai chi practiced as part of health and wellness programs is a modified version of the ancient Chinese martial art of the same name. It is characterized by graceful flowing body movements coupled with rhythmic breathing. Some of its benefits are reducing anxiety and stress, lowers blood pressure, and improves mood.
Aerobic Exercise: Common aerobic exercises like running, swimming, cycling, etc., can improve psychological health.
How Does Exercise Promote Positive Well-Being
Listed below are the major ways by which exercise promotes positive wellbeing including mental health.
- The biggest reason for the positive health benefits of exercise is that it reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Exercise also promotes the release of endorphins that brings a good feeling.
- Physical activities distract you from negative thoughts and emotions.
- There is the added advantage of losing and maintaining weight, and this helps to build confidence and self-esteem.
- Engaging in sports like softball, soccer, basketball, etc., has the effect of gaining social support, and this helps to manage anxiety and stress effectively.
- Finally, better physical health reduces stress, and this improves your immunity, making you less susceptible to diseases.
On a final note, before beginning your exercise program to manage anxiety, it is important to get your doctor’s approval.