How fitness improves mental health?

Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety and ADHD. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better and improves your overall mood. And you don't have to be a fitness fanatic to get the benefits. Research shows that modest amounts of exercise can make a real difference.

Regardless of your age or physical condition, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with mental health problems, improve your energy and outlook, and get more out of life. New research reveals how physical activity can reduce and even prevent depression, anxiety and other psychological ailments. Research shows that people who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional well-being, and lower rates of mental illness. Exercise releases chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin, that improve mood.

It can also take you out into the world, help reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation, and connect you with other people. By Josephine Perry Published 29 September 21 Exercise gives us structure, purpose, energy, and motivation. It's also effective in altering the way we process and respond to our emotions, reduces the amount of thoughts we think too much, and develops emotional resilience to stress. This helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, which causes us to behave differently, increases our self-esteem and reduces our feelings of loneliness by becoming more social.

Perry told Live Science: “As an exercise psychologist, I see these benefits all the time with my clients. Even a 20-minute session can make a big difference in your day. First, exercise can help prevent depressive periods from starting. An interesting study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (opens in new tab) that analyzed more than 33,000 people suggested that 12% of new cases of depression could be prevented if the entire population exercised for at least one hour a week.

If depression has already been diagnosed, exercise has also been found to be an effective way to prevent and reduce symptoms of severe and mild forms. In a study led by Duke University (opens in a new tab), researchers found that exercise is as effective as taking antidepressants, reducing depressive symptoms in some by up to 70%. Anxiety and depression are often experienced together, and exercise has also been found to be beneficial for anxiety. A meta-analysis of 13 separate studies (published in the Depression and Anxiety Journal (opens in a new tab)) highlighted that those who exercise a lot have better protection against developing anxiety symptoms than those who don't.

There is much less awareness of mental health outcomes and much, much less ability to translate this awareness into exercise actions. Physical exercise can play an important role in mental well-being and can even relieve symptoms of mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. While the physical health benefits of exercise are often discussed, the link between exercise and mental health is often overlooked. Sports and fitness professionals are in an ideal position to realize when exercise becomes an obsession Some sports and activities are particularly high-risk It is important to know your own risk factors and practice self-care Participating in exercise and sports can be a fun, enjoyable and social way to improve your physical and mental health.

But researchers are still discovering exactly how muscle effort works in the brain to improve mental health. By exercising regularly, you can reduce stress and symptoms of mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, and help you recover from mental health problems. It doesn't seem to have much to do with cardiovascular fitness or muscle strength, the most obvious benefits of exercise, since how hard a person can exercise is only weakly associated with their psychological health. More studies need to be done to understand the impact of combining such interventions with traditional mental health treatment, including psychopharmacology and psychotherapy.

There is now emerging evidence that regular exercise increases tolerance to internal discomfort, and this may explain part of its benefits in managing these conditions, Smith says. In fact, a survey of the published literature found that placebo exercise, that is, gentle stretches, too gentle to cause any physiological effect, had almost half the beneficial effect on mental health than intense exercise. Other hypotheses that have been proposed to explain the beneficial effects of physical activity on mental health include distraction, self-efficacy, and social interaction. It's also not clear exactly how moving muscles can have such a significant effect on mental health.

A recent study in the UK found that people who reduce their exercise routines by one or two sessions over the weekend experience almost as many health benefits as those who exercise more often. . .

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