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It is easy to forget that our bodies and minds are connected: our mental wellness will always affect our physical health. For example, depression may affect one’s motivation to perform daily tasks like eating. If the issue is left untreated, it will lead to physical weakness and susceptibility to other serious illnesses. Because of this, experts from the Mayo Clinic emphasized how mental illnesses don't only cause poor mental health but also severe emotional, behavioral, and physical health problems, making it more necessary than ever to address the topic.

But what makes mental disorders tricky is that some symptoms are often overlooked, despite the increasing number of afflicted individuals. In fact, Maryville University revealed that 1 in 5 adults in the US has a mental illness, with 1 in 24 individuals suffering from a severe illness. This is why it is time that everyone acknowledges the importance of mental health. If the topic is normalized and destigmatized, millions of Americans silently suffering from these disorders will feel more comfortable talking about their problems. This will also inspire them to seek help from medical professionals and participate in physical activities that will improve their mental wellness.

As established, your physical and mental well-being are connected, and exercising is one of the best methods to promote both aspects of your health. Here are four exercises that will improve mental health:


The most straightforward exercise you can do for your mental health is walking. Health experts explain that walking helps improve your psychological and mental health. This is especially true if you walk outdoors because getting out of the same place makes it much easier to decompress. Your change in environment and routine can also become a positive distraction while getting a healthy dose of sunlight and fresh air. Because this routine requires no specialized skill and it’s not intensive, anyone can take up walking as a physical and mental exercise at any time. If you want moderate-intensity exercise routines, it is recommended that you walk for 150 to 300 minutes weekly.


In an article by Dan Brennan, MD, it was discussed how yoga is an effective form of exercise to relieve stress and anxiety. 86% of Americans claimed that practicing yoga helped them deal with stress because the tightening and relaxing of muscles reduces the tension they feel in their bodies. And since there’s a relationship between anxiousness and breathing, exercises like yoga enables you to breathe more effectively and alleviate your anxiety. Moreover, the peaceful atmosphere, calming music, and positive attitude practiced in yoga classes allow you to focus on your current state. There are various online and in-person classes available that can guide you in starting yoga. Generally, Hatha yoga classes are suitable for beginners because they're slower-moving.


Swimming is also a great option to boost your mental health. A case study featured by US Masters Swimming showed how a 24-year-old British woman with a major depressive disorder was able to decrease her dependence on medication after regularly swimming in open water for several weeks. This indicates the potential of hydrotherapy in reducing feelings of anxiety and depression. Although explanations are ongoing, marine biologist Wallace Nichols believes that water soothes the human psyche, which provides cognitive and emotional benefits to individuals. Unlike yoga and walking, swimming will require you to buy appropriate equipment such as swimsuits, goggles, and maybe even a kickboard.


If you’re looking for rigorous exercises, running positively impacts your mental health since it releases natural mood-elevating compounds called endocannabinoids. This substance causes the euphoria often associated with a runner's high, a feel-good sensation many individuals feel after an exhilarating run. Besides boosting your mood, this can help reduce your stress levels, letting you feel a general sense of contentment after a run. What makes running a good exercise is that you don’t always need to go outdoors to perform the activity. Our article Running In Your Neighborhood vs. Using Treadmills At Home shared that with a treadmill you can reap the same benefits as running outdoors from the comfort of your home. Many treadmills are also outfitted with fitness tracking controls to monitor your progress activity levels like heart rate and mileage.

Exercise is vital in treating mental health issues, and as the above exercises show anyone who has mental health issues can start incorporating exercise into their lives.


Post solely for the use of xplorerlife.com by JB Williams