Four Forms of Exercise that are Good for Mental Health

You may have heard that your physical state has a direct correlation with your mental health, and the benefits of exercise to your mental well-being is well documented. No matter what our physical condition is like, there are exercises we can all do to improve how we feel.

Whether active or living a sedentary lifestyle, there are many exercises and sports to choose from, such as the following:

1. Yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise that engages different groups of muscles, and uses them to hold a variety of different yoga poses. The benefits of yoga show both physically and mentally. Physically, yoga strengthens and conditions muscles, and improves flexibility and balance. Mentally, it deepens the awareness you have about your body and improves concentration. The mental health benefits of yoga may be even more important, as results have shown it can improve mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.

2. Running

Running is a cardiovascular exercise that gets the heart pumping faster and engages every muscle and ligament in the body. Running is a full workout for the body, yet it has some amazing effects on mental health too. Here are a few of the lesser known benefits of running:

  • It helps bring relief from depression and anxiety
  • Improves your ability to retain new information
  • Raises self-esteem
  • Improves problem-solving
  • Helps you sleep better

3. Swimming

There is something freeing about moving through water, and swimming is the perfect exercise if you have problems with bearing weight on your joints, as well as being a good all-round exercise for the body. Swimming benefits your mental health too. Just 30 minutes of swimming can improve low moods, lower stress, and improve depression and anxiety symptoms. The rhythmic nature of swimming and the feeling of water on the body help you to feel relaxed, and can improve conditions such as insomnia.

4. Nature Walking

Exercising outdoors in beautiful surroundings improves your mental well-being in a number of ways. The outdoor environment brings new experiences for your senses, such as the fresh smell of cut grass and flowers, or feeling the crisp chill of the wind on your cheeks. A brisk walk in a leafy park, or a ramble across the wilderness, it all helps to improve your mental health as well as your physical health.

Getting regular exercise is key to having a healthy body, and also a healthy mind. While any form of movement is good, the exercises in this guide are thought to be some of the most beneficial to your mental well-being. They are also mostly accessible to all, without the need to buy any expensive equipment or clothing. So if you are feeling like you need a mood boost, or want some relief from stress in your life, try to include some of these exercises to your week and see the improvements it brings.

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