Mental and Emotional Fitness
The benefits of physical fitness are well documented these days – you can not escape information coming through social media or mainstream media, informing us of the importance in keeping active and keeping physically fit.
Anyone who has embarked on a journey of getting and staying fit recognizes these benefits and realizes that it ‘feels’ good to be fit, which is why being fit boosts our self-esteem. Our bodies are meant to move and to be active, which is means we need to be more conscious about moving in our modern, sedentary lifestyles.
In addition to the physical and general health benefits of being active, did you know that being physically active and physically fit also has tremendous benefits for mental and emotional health? Caring for our bodies by way of nutrition and activity will ensure physical health, but can also help to take care of our minds.
Mark Fenske, a world leading neuroscience researcher, suggests that what we allow ‘in’ our brain is essentially what we will become. Research also tells us that a healthy diet not only fuels our bodies but also keeps our brain healthy. For mental health conditions such as mild depression, exercise is one the most under-prescribed, yet powerful solutions possible.
Feel-Good Brain Chemistry
Anyone who exercises regularly knows that great post-exercise feeling. That feeling is actually the release of endorphins and dopamine in our brain, chemicals that are associated with feeling good. Yes, this is a simplistic description of something that is highly complex in our body, however, understanding that good things happen in our brains and bodies when we exercise is helpful in getting us off the couch.
How can you help build willpower and improve your mental health? Follow these tips to get started:
Fitness Tips to Improve Mental Wellness
- Research indicates that even 20 minutes of moderate exercise several times a week will do wonders for our brain.
- Do seek out unplugged time – preferably in the great outdoors – on a regular basis.
- In order to get off’ the couch, find exercise buddies who will help keep you motivated!
- Pay attention to proper nutrition. Not just for your body, but also for the health of your brain.
- Incorporate mental skills or tools, like goal setting.
- Be mindful of self-talk. The conversation playing in our minds is powerful and can be used to our benefit.
- At times when life seems overwhelming, stressful and too busy, find creative ways to get outside. Combine tasks of the day with being outside.
- Find someone whom you trust and can share feelings of discouragement with. Often getting our thoughts out in the open can help decrease their power on us. Social support networks are critical.
If you’re looking to improve your fitness routine to improve mental health, the team at Innovative Fitness can help. We’re advocates for whole body health!
Roger Friesen BRS. BA. M.Sc.
Innovative Fitness Walnut Grove
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