It is well known that physical activity has a plethora of benefits for your physical health. More and more now we are also encouraged to participate in regular physical activity and exercise for maintaining and improving our mental health.
People that suffer from a range of mental health conditions can experience chronic fatigue and lethargy that can lead to both social and economic problems. Mental health conditions are often masked with uncertainty, a looming threat that may not appear on the surface but may affect people internally and the community of people that surround them.
At the Healthstin Clinics, we understand the benefits that Exercise Physiologists can play in better managing mental health conditions, particularly psychosocial disabilities. Read on to understand the benefits of exercise for your mental health.
Benefits of Exercise in Your Mental Health
According to WHO, mental health conditions describe a wide range of disorders such as depression, stress, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Each of these conditions varies in its presentation and the way it impacts a person’s day-to-day life.
Overall, they can impact one’s ability to regulate emotions, behaviour and cognition. Your mental health is important, so how can exercise help to better manage mental health conditions?
1. Releases Happy Hormones!
Exercising can help to alter the release and regulation of neurotransmitters and chemicals such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones that can make us happy.
2. Better Sleep and Energy Levels
Exercising regularly can help with the regulation of a better sleeping pattern, which in turn can boost your energy levels.
3. Improve Self-Esteem
One of the most common comments from people who regularly exercise is how it helps to improves their self-esteem, particularly when they achieve their goals. Exercise can also help to develop muscle mass that improves our ability and confidence to perform activities of daily living.
4. Helps with your Sense of Control and Coping Mechanisms
A number of research studies have reported that regular exercise modifies the functioning of the brain regions responsible for higher-level thinking and decision-making, which in turn plays an essential role in impulse control.
5. A Great Distraction
Focus and discipline are necessary for successful exercise sessions. Hence, it serves as a great distraction from all the day-to-day thoughts and allows you to experience new things.
6. Relieves Muscle Tension
Regular muscle movements, done correctly, can help to relieve tension, tightness, and improve rehabilitation outcomes, which can help you relax and ease your mental worries.
7. Socialisation and Support
People with mental health conditions can often feel isolated from the world. Regular exercise can help people to socialise with others more and help them to find the support that they are looking for in group exercise programs
There are many reasons why exercise is good for mental health; however, there are some cases where it can be overwhelming not knowing where to start with exercise or cautious of injuries occurring. The role and benefits of exercise physiologists when working with people with mental health conditions is to provide the extra support, reassurance and guidance to address any psychosocial obstacles and barriers, and ensure that you receive your personal goals.
How much exercise do you need?
It is estimated that one in five Australian’s will experience a mental health condition at some point in their life.
According to Australian Physical Activity Guidelines, it is recommended that adults participate in 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate intensity (swimming and brisk walking) physical activity each week, or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of high intensity exercise per week, such as jogging, cycling, or team sports. Alternately, a combination of moderate and high-intensity exercise.
Keep in mind, any exercise is preferable to none. Stretching and yoga, as well as taking a leisurely stroll, is beneficial for both your body and mind. You can get a little workout even from simple tasks like cleaning, mopping, or vacuuming.
The Role of Exercise Physiologists in Your Mental Health
Exercise is a great habit to adopt and make part of your lifestyle. It is well known to help us feel more confident, self-assured, and assertive—all of which are beneficial in the management of depression and anxiety.
Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP’s) play a crucial role in mental health conditions. In Australia, AEP’s are University trained health care professionals that are specialised in the prescription of physical activity and exercise for chronic health conditions, including mental health. AEP’s assist people with mental health conditions to commence and maintain a regular exercise routine, tailor plans to suit your current capacity and work with your health care team for a holistic approach to your program. Every patient AEP’s work with is unique and has differencing circumstances, so there is no such thing as a one-size fits all exercise solution for your mental health. AEP’s use a patient-centered approach, putting you first and an evidence-based approach, what has been researched to help to address any psychosocial and physical hurdles you may have to be able to exercise. The collaborative approach fosters you with the confidence, consistency, and momentum crucial in encouraging exercise adherence.
At Healthstin, we are on a mission to improve your physical and mental health, so you can move and feel better each day. Our team of Allied Health Professionals have a combined experience of over 20 years helping people with exercise programs to better manage and treat injuries, disabilities and chronic conditions, or people who want to improve their mental health. Chat to an Exercise Physiologist today on 1300 090 931 or email@example.com to find out more.