gym in bath

Exercise and Wellbeing

According to the National Institute of Health, aerobic exercise and other forms of movement are linked to increased wellbeing and a reduction in depression and anxiety.

While your mental health certainly reaps advantages, so does your emotional health and physical health. Different types of health and wellbeing are closely linked. This means that your emotional and physical health can impact your mental health and vice versa. For these reasons, getting regular exercise can only help you.

If you are not used to exercising or are unsure of where to begin, don’t worry. The benefits of exercise are not mutually exclusive to an intense and rigorous movement. Light stretching, jogging in a park, or running for ten minutes on a treadmill a few times per week can work wonders. Here at the YMCA we can help advise you on the best and safest forms of exercise to help you on your way to achieving your goals.

By exercising regularly, you can actively take steps to improve your mental health. Believe it or not, every little bit counts, even if you are not consciously aware of the benefits that each session of exercise has on your mental health. The presence of a healthy mind allows human beings to understand life experiences, stay in touch with their emotions, and more. High quality of mental health allows you to process things clearly and move through the world productively. Being a mentally healthy individual impact the way you feel about yourself, how you interact with others.

Here are six of the main benefits that physical activity can achieve:

  • Stress Reduction: cutting back on stress is one of the most important mental health benefits that you can get from aerobic exercise and other forms of physical activity. Research shows that 44% of adults engage in walking or other forms of exercise to cope with stress.
  • Clearer Thoughts & Memories: Another of several mental health benefits of getting in exercise includes clearer thoughts and memories. When you get your body moving, endorphins are released. Now, while these endorphins make you feel better physically, they also improve concentration skills and help foster new brain cell growth. Having clearer thoughts and memories is both great for your mental health, but also helpful for combating certain declines linked to aging.
  • Better Sleep at Night: Getting a high-quality, proper night’s rest is another one of the benefits of exercise. Because regular exercise increases the physical temperature of your body, your brain can have an easier time winding down when you want to sleep at night. Exercise can also help with your circadian rhythm, which in turn will help with your sleep patterns.
  • Allows for Connections with Other People: Interpersonal relationships, or lack of play a vital role in the mental health of any individual. Thankfully, exercise paves the way for you to connect with other human beings, if this is something you’re interested in. Here at the YMCA we put a big emphasis on being a social-friendly club.
  • Helps You Learn More About Yourself: Not all forms of exercise are the same. Some people prefer light exercise or aerobic exercise. Others find that getting in more intensive exercise such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is more beneficial for them. No type of exercise is better than the other. The type of regular exercise that you choose to engage in is up to you; however, it can help you learn more about yourself and your interests.
  • Reduces your likelihood of physical health issues: All forms of your health whether physical, emotional, or mental — are interconnected with one another. This is why a reduced likelihood of suffering from physical health issues is listed as a top mental health benefit of exercise.

While physical activity might not solve all of everyone’s doubts and issues. Staying active and doing regular exercise will have a positive impact on your “total fitness” (your wellbeing) which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, nutritional, social, and environmental fitness. If you feel you would like to know more please don’t hesitate to contact us at YMCA Health & Wellbeing centre.