Physical activities or regular exercise can bless a human body in many ways, from improving heart health to making bones and joints stronger. But do you know that physical exercise can also be beneficial for the well-being of mental health?
Studies reveal that physical activities can have a positive impact on anxiety, depression, and ADHD. It can also boost your mood as it reduces the level of stress, and helps you in sleeping better.
How Can Physical Activity Contribute In Tackling Mental Health Issues?
The WHO (World Health Organization) considers depression as the prime contributor to disability in people around the globe. In this ranking, anxiety holds the sixth position. Reports from the United Kingdom state that 5 people in every 100 have anxiety problems, and 4 in every 100 have depression. It is also reported that 14% of the country’s population is suffering from depression every year.
Researchers suggest that even a short brisk walk of only 10 minutes increases the mental alertness, energy and leaves the person in a good mood. The connection between physical activity and mental health is multilayered. It has a huge impact on mental well-being. Let us read how:
1. Increases Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is a key indicator of the mental health of a person. An individual with low self-esteem is usually depressed. Self-esteem can be defined as how we see ourselves. Physical activity has been studied to have a positive impact on self-esteem among people of any age group and gender.
2. Reduces Depression
Psychiatrists consider physical activities as the best treatment for fighting depression. They suggest exercises or any other physical activity to their depressed patients, along with medications or alone. The reason being that physical activity prompts the body to produce happy hormones that help keep depression at bay.
3. Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety is the first stage of depression. Physical activity can reduce levels of anxiety in people by producing happy hormones like serotonin. It can be helpful for the treatment of clinical anxiety, as well. Studies have found a link between physical activity and productivity; businesses that encourage their employees to remain active are more productive than those who don’t. Interestingly, people that work in professions that require physical work, such as carpet cleaning, are intrinsically more healthy, physically, and mentally.
4. Reduces the Symptoms Of ADHD
Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental, mental health disorder in which individuals show intense inattention and impulsive behavior. Physical activity boosts the brain’s norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine levels. These affect the level of attention. It improves concentration, memory, and motivation.
5. It Uplifts Mood
It is said that periods of physical activity leave a good impact on the mood. A study asked people to rate their mood immediately after they have done any physical activity and when they are just sitting idle. Results showed that the participants were happier after physical activity in comparison to the periods of doing nothing. Studies also claim that physical activity can uplift the low mood of a person.
How much physical activity does a person needs daily for physical and mental well-being?
Experts recommend that adults should aim to be active for at least two and a half hours of mild to moderate physical activity in a week. Simply, it means taking 30-minute walk 5 days a week.
It may sound like a lot, but it isn’t as daunting as it first appears. You can go outside to have a brisk walk or get a track machine to walk indoors – either way, remain active to uplift your spirits and maintain your health.
Physical activity and mental well-being have a direct relation. Studies reveal that physical activity can help you in dealing with your depression and anxiety. It also improves your self-esteem. If you want to be an energetic person at work, and enjoy your family time, take out some time for physical activity or exercise.
Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics.