Exercise can be defined as movement and/or physical activity that works any part of the body. It is an important tool to improve physical health and physique. Exercise has an important added benefit – working out improves mental health. According to the National Institute on Aging, working out can be understood within four categories:
- Endurance: Endurance or aerobic activities involves increasing heart rate, pulse, and breathing. Endurance and aerobic activity can include playing sports, running, walking, biking, swimming, jogging, and dancing.
- Strength: Strength training and exercises focus on making muscles stronger. Strength exercises can include weightlifting, Pilates and barre.
- Balance: Balance exercises focus on achieving better balance and stability throughout the body. Balance exercise can include Tai Chi and yoga.
- Flexibility: Flexibility working out prioritize stretching and elongating muscles. Yoga is a popular example of a flexibility exercise.
What Are the Benefits of Working Out?
- Mental health: Within recent years, research has demonstrated the importance of exercise on mental and emotional health. Exercising has been found to decrease cortisol, the stress hormone. A decrease in cortisol can alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress and increase focus, energy, and concentration.
- Stress management: The physical exertion exercise requires can serve as a healthy distraction and coping mechanism for many.
- Connection: For some, working out can provide space for solitude, while for others it may provide a place to meet and connect with others.
- Physical health: It can have positive effects on physical health including weight management, relief from physical pain, healthier skin, and decrease risk for certain diseases. Exercise has also been proven to improve sleep, which can have a significant positive impact on physical and mental health.
How Does Exercise Improve Mental Health?
According to Psychology Today, exercise is fundamental to good mental health and can even be used as part of a treatment plan for chronic mental illness. It has been found to improve depression while also having a positive impact on anxiety.
Harmony Bay Wellness encourages Integrative Wellness Services, including exercise, as part of our patients’ overall wellness plan. Working out is an effective way of taking good care of the body, which in turn, can improve mental health.
How does it work? Working out releases natural feel-good endorphins in the brain. It also helps to take the mind off worries, improves confidence, allows for social interaction, and allows for healthy coping.
It is important to find exercise activities that you enjoy, so you look forward to it and will follow through with your commitment. Talk to your mental health professional about how much is right for you and set reasonable goals.
Harmony Bay Wellness can help you or your loved one set goals and make a plan to integrate exercise and other whole-person wellness approaches to your mental health treatment plan.
What Other Therapeutic Services Are Available at Harmony Bay Wellness?
Located in South Jersey, Harmony Bay Wellness offers individualized treatment that brings you back to your inner spirit, a healthier mindset and physical wellness. Along with exercise, we also offer:
- Telehealth services
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Psychiatric evaluations
- Mental health therapy services for various conditions
Find out what sets Harmony Bay Wellness apart from other mental health facilities. Call Harmony Bay Wellness at 855.765.6399.