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How You Can Enhance Your Mental Health with Fitness

How You Can Enhance Your Mental Health with Fitness
Written by Mia Morales

With these tips, you are guaranteed to start feeling better, both physically and mentally—get started and stay consistent!

Exercise has been shown to have a great impact on your mental health and well being. There are many types of physical activities that will positively impact your mood and the chemicals which influence your feelings and outlook on life. 

Running 

Running is one of the easiest activities to begin, as it requires little equipment and you can go at your own pace. Humans have evolved to be naturally great at running. Once you push past the difficulty of starting a running habit, the overall feeling during your workout can be positive for your mental health.

Aerobic activities like running have been shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise also has the immediate benefit of boosting endorphins, which can change your outlook and mood for your day.

You can also improve your focus and lead to a better night’s sleep, which can be great for having a clear head when you wake up in the morning. It is also an easy activity to do alone or with friends or a group.

Swimming

Swimming, because it is in the water, has been shown to have a positive impact in helping reduce anxiety and aiding relaxation. It can also be a great way to bond with your family and enjoy activities together when the weather warms. Many people favor swimming as their preferred form of cardio and even install pools in their own backyards.

For instance, if you reside in Virginia, a simple internet search for “inground pools Virginia” can provide you with companies in your area that specialize in estimating and building pools to fit within your budget and space. Building a swimming habit can be an incredibly relaxing way to improve your mood, cool off, and get in shape at the same time. 

Yoga

Practicing yoga on a regular basis can have many positive effects on your mood, mental health, and emotional state. Yoga shifts you from a state of the sympathetic nervous system to parasympathetic, bringing you into a relaxed mode instead of being on edge, or in fight or flight mode.

Yoga can also help you heal emotionally from traumatic events in your past by addressing them mentally in a calm environment.

Another added benefit of yoga is that the mental peace you achieve with yourself can be translated to some of the other relationships in your life, such as with family, friends, or your significant other. Try taking a break from the hassle of your day and spending a few minutes practicing yoga. 

Zumba

Zumba is a stimulating aerobic activity that has been increasingly popular in the past few years, and for good reason. The activity is usually practiced in a group setting, such as a class, with a combination of music and exercise, cultivating a positive environment that can boost mood.

Both of these things have also been proven to relieve symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Practicing something with happy music, along with the group effort of accomplishing a common goal, can have incredible benefits on your mental health. Many gyms and fitness centers offer Zumba classes for every level and age group. 

Weight Training

Although not as popular as a go-to exercise form as the others, lifting is also incredibly important for a well-rounded exercise regimen, and to assist your body in building muscle.

Not only has regular weight lifting been shown to alleviate both anxiety and depression, but it can have a positive impact on your self-esteem. Studies have revealed that it also improves cognitive function when combined with brain exercises.

If you want to improve your self-image, feel better about yourself and your life, and gain muscle while you’re at it, consider a gym membership to lift weights regularly.

There are many types of exercise that can improve your mental health. With these tips, you are guaranteed to start feeling better, both physically and mentally—get started and stay consistent!

Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement.

We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. As a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.

I have accepted that I will never find the perfect balance at as a mom, and no matter how others perceive me as a working mom, both being a mom and a professional help me to progress as a woman.

2. Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?

I’m grateful for the resilience that my trials have instilled in me. As hard as my trials have been they have helped me empathize with others more and to become a better person.

3. Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.

Becoming a mother and feeling the love of my children has been the most rewarding experience of my life. That love coupled with a desire to maintain their love and respect is one of my biggest motivators in life.

Photo by CATHY PHAM on Unsplash

About the author

Mia Morales

A woman who loves freelance writing.

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