You may feel like there are so many things that can improve your health and wellness but only medications that can help improve your mental health. Maybe, there is one small and powerful thing you can do today, to start to help yourself, to start improving your overall mental health … that one thing is your mindset to taking part in exercise or physical activity.
And research is showing that being involved in physical activity or exercise can improve not only your physical health, but also your mental health (at all ages)! The mind-body connection is real.
What Does Mental Health Look Like In Canada?
Just a quick snap shot from where I live:
- 1 in 5 people will personally experience a mental health condition in any year
- Affects all ages, genders, education levels, income levels, and cultures
- Mental health conditions can have an impact on a person’s cognitive, behavioural, and social functioning
(Canadian Mental Health Association)
Why Exercise Or Physical Activity Is Important
There is lots of research showing exercise is an effective component of treatment for people living with both acute and chronic mental health conditions (see Mental Health Benefits of Exercise Picture above) …. and this one too!
Being involved in exercise or physical activity can make a difference in mood and promotes positive mental health, while helping to reduce the symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and even bipolar affective disorder.
An Overview of Mental Health & Exercise
Well ok, I thought I would try with an infographic, like above! But wait, you do not have to start with exercise or physical activity that involves hiking, biking, running, and so forth … the simplest is putting on a pair of shoes (preferably walking ones) and go for a short walk. 3 minutes from your door and back! Congratulations!!
Final Thoughts …
The provision and guidance through a specific and individually focused exercise plan becomes important, not just for the short-term benefits on mental health, it is just as important for the long standing effect exercise has on the overall benefits for your overall mental health and wellness.
An exercise program, when done suitably and in a way that is specific to the person and needs of the person, is an excellent addition to mainstream treatment for the positive journey towards good mental health.
If you know of someone in your life who is wanting to start an exercise program but unsure as they are living with a mental health condition, or if you yourself have or are living with a mental health condition, make your first choice something you can start today … a simple short walk … then contact me to help you along your journey.
Make your day an amazing day,
Founder & Chief Medical Exercise Specialist
p.s. Follow this blog post as I will be exploring exercise with PTSD, depression, and anxiety this week.