People who regularly exercise report a feeling of well-being. They feel more energetic during the day, experience better sleep, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves. Aside from the many positive physical benefits, exercise can also have a positive effect on mental health challenges.
Regular exercise can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a real difference. A 2019 article in Harvard Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour helps reduce the risk of major depression by 26%. Exercise releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in the brain that makes you feel good. It can reduce inflammation in the brain and create new activity patterns that promote feels of calm and well-being.
Activities to Move Your Body and Engage Your Mind
If you’re looking for exercise that engages both your body and mind, below are just a few examples of activities to try:
Hiking: Hiking can be beneficial in many ways. It can strengthen your body while improving balance and coordination, and just the act of being in nature can have a positive effect on your mental health, lowering adrenaline and increasing an overall sense of calm. In addition to having mental health benefits, being outdoors opens up your senses to your surroundings and improves your sensory perception.
Yoga: The foundation of yoga is connecting your body to your mind. It is a practice of slowing down and experiencing emotions and physical sensations as they come without expectation or judgment. By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga can modulate stress response systems. Yoga can also aid in improving focus and emotional regulation.
Rock Climbing: Rock climbing, whether on a mountain or in a climbing gym, requires the mind and body to work together. It requires focus, problem-solving skills, and resiliency. Approaching climbing with a mastery mindset adds further health benefits. To try and master a skill like climbing can fill your life with purpose and meaning. Many people find that goals and ambition aid their mental health because it gives them direction.
It is important to not get trapped in “all or nothing” thinking. Even a little bit of exercise is better than nothing. Research shows that moderate levels of exercise are best for most people. Start with five or ten-minute sessions and slowly increase your time. The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have.
Journey Home East Can Help
Journey Home East provides key supportive interventions in a home-like setting. We include various types of interventions including group, individual, and family support. As a transitional independent living program, we also help our residents work on independent living skills, develop positive peer and community relationships, help them with academic success, and provide exciting recreational activities
Journey Home East helps provide the opportunity for greater freedoms and responsibilities entailed in pursuing further education or having a job. Residents are being supported in this process by our skilled staff. For more information please call (828) 408-0767.