Boosting Your Mental Health Through Exercise
Nearly one in five adults in the United States suffer from some degree of mental illness, ranging from mild to severe. As common as it is, it is still a taboo subject in today’s society. Be it bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression or obsessive compulsive disorder, mental illness is prevalent and widespread. While the common “fix” is medication, exercise and a healthy lifestyle is proving more and more to boost mental health in a holistic way.
A recent finding from the National Institute of Health concludes that just 90 minutes of exercise a week can reduce depression. Further research published in The Lancet Psychiatry has narrowed down the actual types of exercise that can aid in this as well.
Team sports were shown to reduce bad mental health days by 22.3 percent, cycling by 21.6 percent, aerobic or gym exercise by 20.1 percent, running or jogging by 19 percent, and recreational sports like basketball or softball by 18.9 percent.
Improving mental health does not just mean exercising more. It is an all-encompassing approach involving good sleep habits, proper nutrition and a supplement routine. Finding something you enjoy and look forward to makes exercise fun and rewarding versus taxing or a chore. So join a basketball league, hire a personal trainer to get you started on a resistance training program, hop on your bike and go for a ride, or sign up for a 5K or 10K or even a marathon! Whatever it is get out there and do it, be consistent and patient and reap the rewards.