Exercise and Mental Health
Exercise is not only important in terms of maintaining good mental health, it’s also associated with improvement in cognitive function and preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
It can be difficult to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle if it has not been a part of it. Incorporating healthy new behaviors into your routine is difficult because any type of change can be overwhelming.
Maintaining good mental health requires finding the right balance of exercise and not over-exercising. Several health complications could result from over-exercising. You can also burn yourself out, which most likely causes low motivation due to fatigue.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends:
- Two 150 minute/week moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (30 minutes, 5 days per
- Or 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise on 3 days of the week (total of
- Moderate to high-intensity strength training at least 2 days of the week
Tips on How To Motivate Yourself to Exercise and Stay in a Good Mental Space
- Incorporate exercise through a hobby (i.e., basketball, bike riding, rock climbing, hiking)
- Join a women/men’s basketball or sports league or sign up for a spin class with friends
- Find an exercise routine that fits into your schedule
- Start with short term goals
- Pick one or two days of the week you will begin to incorporate exercise
- Decide if you are the type of person that needs accountability – if this is the case then signing up with a personal trainer or for group classes may be most motivating for you
- If you plan on signing up for a gym, sign up at a gym that you feel comfortable at
- Bring your gym clothes to work and change before driving home
- Set up a new workout playlist you can listen to throughout your workout
- Remember how great you feel after the workout, sometimes it is just a matter of getting there!
Maintain Good Health with Exercise
In addition to maintaining good mental health, people who exercise tend to have longer, healthier lives. Exercise also lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure to help keep you in good shape. Regular exercise makes blood vessels bigger and keeps them functioning smoothly, which makes them less likely to plug up and cause a heart attack or stroke.
Adding an exercise routine to your schedule can be tough at first but soon you should start to see the good behavior pay off. Nutritional Therapists at Behavioral Nutrition recommend a healthy amount of exercise for everyone because a good diet isn’t the only thing needed to start leading a healthy lifestyle. Get in touch today to learn more about how Behavioral Nutrition can help identify good ways for you to exercise on a regular basis and reinforce good behavior without burning out.