When we discuss mental and physical health, we often discuss them as if they are separate issues. However, more and more evidence has amounted that physical and mental health are closely connected.
Some people were, indeed, already aware that getting exercise can enhance mental health – however, nowadays people are learning that taking care of your mental health can actually boost your fitness performance.
In this article we’re going to explain how improving your mental health might have a positive influence on your fitness regime.
How Mental Health Impacts Mental Health
You may have heard that exercising can improve mental health by releasing endorphins and improving cardiovascular health. However, research is emerging that indicates that improving your mental health can actually boost your physical performance.
One of the biggest mental health issues that is affecting people nowadays is stress. A lot of things contribute to stress: long work hours, raising families, driving in traffic, going to school. The list goes on.
According to Yocheved Golani from E-counseling.com, stress can have a number of impacts on the human body when it is experienced over the long-term or at repeated, high-intensity bouts over the course of a lifetime. Stress can contribute to hormonal problems, digestive issues, immune and respiratory upset, metabolic issues, and skin problems (citation).
All of these things could work together to make it much more difficult to exercise. For example, someone with metabolic and digestive issues may not be able to easily absorb the nutrients required for them to exercise properly. Hormonal problems may make them lethargic or unmotivated.
How Can I Improve My Mental Health?
As you can see, there are lots of reasons that mental health problems could adversely affect your ability to exercise. What is a person to do?
Fortunately, there are quite a few options that can help to encourage you to reduce your stress levels and improve other aspects of mental health.
Seek therapy. Seeking a counselor in-office or through an online therapy service could be immensely useful for helping you manage your stress. They will provide you with the tools and knowledge that you need to help manage stressful situations before they can have an adverse effect on you.
Take it easy. Many people in our society are biting off more than they can chew, simply because they are placing too much pressure on themselves to over-achieve. Do your thing, but make sure that you have at least a few hours to relax and rejuvenate every day.
Meditate. Meditation has been used for thousands of years to help reduce stress and anxiety, bring focus into a person’s mind, and enhances clarity of thought. Recent research has even shown the meditation reduces cortisol – a stress hormone – in the human body.
Spend time in nature. Many people experience a degree of existential angst when they live in the city, cooped up from nature. Taking the time to go out to a nature reserve or spend time by the ocean can do wonders for helping to bring you back to your roots and prevent the development of too much stress. Learn more about exercising outdoors.
There are many ways that you can learn to manage stress. Some combination of the above should be effective for helping you to find ways of living that don’t produce such high levels of stress.
Evidence has emerged that indicates that high stress levels can be problematic for people who are trying to maintain a healthy exercise routine. Stress can lead to problems in the digestive tract, metabolism issues, and other issues that can make it hard to exercise successfully.
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can reduce stress levels and improve mental health. Hopefully this article has provided some insight as to how you can enhance your mental health and your exercise routines.