Mental health and its impact on our lives cannot be understated. Whether a person is born with mental health concerns or develops them through life, they do not need to hinder every area of your life. In fact, there is lots of science-backed research that shows partaking in exercise will support your mental health and alleviate some of the associated stress. Physical activity is known to be a great way to take control of your mental health, so let’s understand why that is and where you can start.
Choosing the right physical activity
Don’t think for a moment that you have to run 5km each day to improve your mental health, although that might be what some people like to do. The truth is, there are so many ways you can be active so you want to choose something that actually excites you. Many find yoga in Melbourne to be a great way to get a sweat on and centre before or after a busy day. Low impact exercise packs as much of a punch so consider slower exercise if that aligns with your style and confidence level. If you are one who has lots of energy (and even more when you are working through a tough mental health day), then you might find a long bike ride or a swim to be a great way to get your mind distracted for a while. The point is – there are so many options to choose from when it comes to being active!
Consider a trainer
If you are new to exercising then you might like the idea of having someone show you the literal ropes so that you can understand what equipment, movement and duration is going to be best for your body and strength level. Working smarter and not harder is certainly true when it comes to working out. Rather than burning up all your energy on the exercise bike and having to leave the gym before you really hit that relaxation point, a trainer will show you what exercises can have you going the distance and allow you to work on your mental health for longer. If a gym environment is not right for you and not a space where you can really work on your mental health, then you can also engage a personal trainer outside of a gym and in the comfort of your backyard or a local park.
Social sport is a great place to start when it comes to physical activity as it has so many other positive benefits beyond fitness. Getting together regularly with other people to play team sport can be a big boost to your mood, and it can even create friendships and relationships that go beyond the field. Given how remote we all feel these days, this kind of human interaction over physical activity could be one of the best investments of time you have. Plus, who doesn’t love winning a game and having that ego boost every week? Jump on your local council websites to see what sports are available and where, or even find some groups on Facebook that are looking for fill-ins if you want to dip your toe in first.
Taking the scenic route
When you are walking next to a beautiful body of water or natural landscape, you aren’t thinking too much about how exerted you are. Consider pairing your physical activity with a scenic route at a beautiful destination so that you can have some mindful time and connect to nature. Fresh air and an elevated heart rate might be exactly what you need that day or that week. Whether you choose to have a walking buddy or go solo, getting outside and experiencing a natural wonder can really assist with changing your perspective. And look, who said you have to walk? You might like to canoe, paddleboard or surf in these stunning locations to really get amongst it.
Just start- Activity For Mental Health
All of these ideas discussed here should help with your mental health, but the important thing is just to start! Maybe that means putting on your running shoes and slipping into your activewear each day as you inch closer to getting out and being active. Maybe you will join the yoga studio or go for a surf, but today commit to walking around the block so that you can ease into this transition of physical activity. Many mental health symptoms can be anxiety and overwhelm, so you want to start off with manageable commitments first.
Are you feeling empowered to tackle your mental health needs head-on with some physical activity? Obviously, a run or a yoga session is not going to solve all of life’s mysteries, but it is a healthy way to approach a crowded mind and get some clarity as you move your body.