Best Exercises to Improve Mental Health
by MedPlus Team, March 1, 2021
Being mentally healthy means functioning nicely during everyday routine and feeling confident to rise with the challenges. Just like your physical fitness, there are measures you can take to maintain your mental wellness. Exercise does a lot in maintaining an individual’s health. Here is a quick 4-minute read on the best exercise for mental health that can improve your brain health and function:
Yoga is an ancient exercise form for improving the strength of our brain muscles. It helps you relax your mind while making you more intuitive and active. It enables individuals to have a greater sense of inner contentment and peace. Yoga practice can make you feel so much more centered on everyday life. Practicing yoga regularly for a substantial period of time can also make you realize unknown things about yourself.
A 10-30 minutes session of yoga practice every day so will make you feel relaxed and calmly energized. Yoga can be called THE exercise that helps the mental health the most. Yoga postures help increase energy at all levels – mental, physical, emotional; and boost an individual’s vitality. It brings peace of mind, a great sense of knowledge, self-realization, and overall inner well-being.
If you are new to Yoga and wish to start, here is our simple guide on how you can start
Dance / Music
Another way to improve mental health with exercises is indulging in dancing. Dancing is associated with happiness. With different poses, you may animate the stretch while allowing your body to give fluidity and flow to the movement. Allowing your body to flow freely brings a sense of contentment, ease, satisfaction, and gratification. As a result, it will make you stress-free and better your mental health.
A close family of this is music and musical instruments. Learning to sing or playing a musical instrument has very often proven to miraculously cure mental tensions and conditions. Music has soothing and curing properties which can thus be a great option to deal with your mental stress.
If you are looking for a cost-free option to improve mental health with exercise, then you can go running. It will enhance your mental strength by improving brain function. The best part is that you can take up running at any time of the day. However, morning runs are more beneficial comparatively.
You can either go out and enjoy the fresh air or do this activity in a gym. The treadmill is one of the ideal options for indoor running. Running releases endorphins, which is a happy hormone responsible for improving mood and brain function. It also provides relief from anxiety, stress, and mental conditions like depression.
Who needs any additional introduction to the benefits of walking?! It can’t get any further simple than simply walking! Walking is the best exercise for mental health. It may seem like it’s nothing since it is so easy but it has a significant positive impact on our mind as well as body level. Getting out, cherishing nature’s beauty while feeling the fresh air brings a sense of joy, which further affects our mental well-being.
Walking alleviates stress. Plus, it helps individuals deal with various brain-related problems, including depression, migraine, anxiety, and more. Even 20-minutes of walking can do wonders in improving your brain-s function. It improves blood circulation, which is essential for proper brain functioning.
Nothing compares to the sense of peace and freedom that one can experience when the cool breeze touches their skin. It’s like the wind taking away all your worries. There are vast benefits of exercise on mental health, and cycling is one way how you can reap these benefits. It enhances flexibility, strength, suppleness, coordination, and balance. You’ll start releasing tension and tight spots through fresh energy that cycling will introduce to your body and brain.
Swimming is another great option for mental health and exercise as it involves the movement of legs and arms in coordination with the breath as well. When you learn the swimming strokes within the water, the mind efficiency is maximized. You will know about how to coordinate your kicks, extend your reach, the technique of breathing without hampering your movement. All these activities lead to improved concentration levels and brain health. Moreover, the water movement that occurs while moving your body in the pool promotes brain nerves relaxation and offers therapeutic sensation.
Pilates is another excellent form of exercise for relaxing the mind and reducing stress. All the postures boost one or the other therapeutic qualities. It encourages body mobilization & movement. It also helps focus on breathing capabilities while allowing you to relax the mind. Pilates exercise effects on mental health are huge, but it is different from other forms of workout that boost our parasympathetic nervous system’s health. In other words, you can reap the benefits of a relaxed mind and sound sleep.
The exercise can improve mental health and is ideal for relieving mind and body from stress, neck and back problems, insomnia, headaches, general stiffness, and digestive issues. Plus, it helps in building up energy, which means better brain functioning. You’ll be amazed to see the change in you derived from continuous Pilates practice.
Martial Arts /Boxing
Martial Art is an exercise that can improve mental health to a great extent. People who are short-tempered lose their patience early and at times become violent. Martial arts help an individual to build the habit of self-control. It not only brings inner peace but also helps the body and mind to build self-control power.
Martial arts allow the person to experience real calmness in oneself. One needs to defend his/her inner self before defending themselves, and this can be done by controlling the emotions through the power of self-control.
Exercise improves mental health, but it is advised to set equal time for hobbies, activities, and projects you enjoy along with your daily work routine. Go with the flow of your creative and spontaneous urge without any hesitation. Take a walk in your local park, Do a crossword, read a book, draw pictures with your kids, sew a quilt, play with your pets. Do whatever that takes you into a fancy. It will boost up your mental fitness.