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The Best Effects of Physical Activity on Mental Health

The Best Effects of Physical Activity on Mental Health

One of our biggest enemies is stress. We know that stress has a negative effect on both our physical and mental health. One of the ways we can manage stress is recreation. Physical activity helps us relax our muscles and overcome tension in the body. While we exercise, we stimulate the work of the heart, which accelerates brain activity and the secretion of neurohormones. Aerobic exercises with complex and synchronized movements are a great anti-stress therapy if practiced several times a week for about twenty minutes. Meditation, relaxation or wakefulness techniques contribute to general health, especially when we are exposed to the negative effects of stress on a daily basis.

Regular physical activity increases dopamine levels

With moderate to strenuous exercise, we can significantly alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Doctors often recommend that patients who cannot cope with the feeling of sadness set aside time for the gym. Studies show that running on a treadmill for 15 minutes reduces the risk of depression by 26%, while the combination of aerobic exercise (running, low-intensity rhythmic exercise, cycling…) and anaerobic exercise (weightlifting) significantly alleviates the symptoms of depression. Researchers from Yale and Oxford have come to a fantastic conclusion – exercising makes people happier than money!

A girl on treadmill

The exercise affects the quality of mental health

Regular physical activity stimulates the metabolism and regulates the so-called circadian rhythm that helps us feel good. Research has confirmed that people who train more intensely have better sleep than those who have completely neglected physical activity. Longer and better quality sleep gives us more energy during the day. It is important to know that intensive exercise just before bedtime is not recommended because the activity raises body temperature. So it would be best to finish your training five or six hours earlier.

Regular training stimulates neurogenesis

In this way, cognitive functions are improved, ie reasoning, thinking, and thus learning and creativity, but also coping in space. Cardio exercises increase endurance, while at the same time improving attention and concentration. In this way, degenerative processes in the body are slowed down, dementia is delayed or slowed down. Ability to make decisions or

information processing in the brain improves after only two weeks of regular physical activity. The experts noticed that people who are physically active can plan and organize their time much better. Interestingly, the intensity of training is also an important factor: intensive training improves the ability to process information, while training of moderate intensity has a positive effect on memory and attention.

Group training has many benefits for mental health

A Training group.

We meet new people and expand the circle of acquaintances and friends. Exercising in a group further motivates us and increases the feeling of satisfaction. In the group, it is easier for us to overcome difficulties, but also the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Regular exercise strengthens self-confidence, and thus enthusiasm and a sense of self-worth. We connect with other people, but also with ourselves. The feeling that we are managing our own lives is very important for mental health, and regular exercise will certainly contribute to that.

Conclusion

Our recommendation is to set aside 2.5 hours each week for moderate aerobic exercise and 75 minutes for intense exercise. In addition, set aside 20 minutes twice a week for strength exercises. Regular physical activity – three to five times a week for 45 minutes is a proven recipe for good mental health. If you do not have time to go to the fitness center, you can also train at home. Lately, online trainings have become more and more popular, as well as outdoor trainings. Choose the option that suits you best and you will be able to notice the first results very quickly. So, the Latin sayng is correct – “Mens sana in corpore sano“.

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