Exercise's health benefits reach further than just managing your weight; it also plays a huge role in your mental health. Study after study has shown a correlation between regular exercise and the prevention of depression. Regular activity also decreases anxiety and stress, promotes mental clarity and bumps up your self-esteem. Irrevocably proving that getting your sweat on helps you work through the mental clutter and brings you to a happier version of yourself.
For a happier you, here are 5 proven exercises to lift your spirits.
5 Exercises to Boost Your Mental Health
In a recent study done by The Lancet Psychiatry with over 1 million US participants from 2011-2015, five exercises where identified as game-changers for your mental health.
Is it really a surprise that team sports scored the highest when it comes to kicking depression in the shins - it shouldn't considering the dual combination of social and physical activity! Sports for the win! So lace up your tennis shoes, grab your football and hit the baseball diamond for a little interaction with others, physical activity and *bonus* a touchdown for your wellbeing!
Step outside into the fresh air and climb aboard your bicycle! 30-60 minutes of regular biking on a stationary bike, or on the roads or trails will keep your brain happy. Biking does wonders for your mental health by increasing oxygen and blood flow to your brain, increasing brain cell production for better clearer thinking, keeping aging minds youthful and by handling stress more efficiently by combating stress hormone production. So cycle and find your happy place!
Aerobics or Gym
Aerobics or cardio are defined as any sustained activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. Get your sweat on for 30-45 minutes often, doing anything strenuous like swimming, dancing or doing Zumba! There's a reason why gym rats alternate between cardio and strength training days on the best workout equipment at your gym - diversity is key, so too is building up your stamina as well as your bulk. Cheat depression by mixing in cardio or strengthening exercises!
Running or Jogging
"Baby, you were born to run," sang Bruce Springsteen - boy was he right. Evolutionarily speaking our bodies are built to jog or run, so that's why runners experience 'runners high' and get addicted to hitting the trails. Running is as liberating as it is good for your cardiovascular health. Keep your brain sharp at every age by running just 30 minutes a couple times a week to prevent depression.
Recreational Activity or Sports
Recreational activities are anything that offers a refreshing break from your day like hiking, while recreational sports are fun leagues like baseball or basketball. The point is to pick your poison, join a group activity like yoga and get moving! Reduce your stress levels and cripple depression by keeping yourself surrounded by like-minded yogi's (or whatever your chosen sport is) so you can interact, stay fit and see to your mental health!
Exercise for Your Mental Health Wellbeing
Mental health, namely depression is a serious global problem that touches just about every age demographic so is it any wonder scientists are trying to find solutions to solve this global epidemic? The general consensus is simple: get active to prevent or reverse depression. Pick one of these 5 proven exercises and live everyday vibrantly!