Physical fitness is important for the body as well as the mind. Yes, it helps to increase your aerobic activity, develop muscles, and ensure you have a fitter, healthier body. However, it also has a wide variety of benefits for your mental health.
That is precisely the reason why doctors and therapists stress the importance of physical fitness. You must have noticed that even mental health therapists often advise their patients to exercise or go for a run or, even, just a walk after dinner.
Benefits of Physical Exercise for Mental Health
So, how exactly does physical exercise benefit your mental health? Here are some of the many benefits you can get –
- Exercise reduces the stress level in your body; and, hence, makes you more relaxed and happy. You can notice quite a quick change in your mood as well after just a short exercise session of, say, 30 minutes.
- Exercise also helps improve sleep problems. It promotes deeper and longer sleep; and, even, corrects insomnia issues in people. A better quality of sleep will help to improve your mood and mental health as well.
- When you sweat, your body releases a lot of toxins along with the sweat which helps to cleanse, both, the body, and the mind. It helps to reduce the toxic build-up in your body and leads to a healthier mind as well.
- Exercise also improves mental clarity and alertness. It will also, over time, help to increase stamina and energy levels in your body. This will help you fight fatigue and tiredness; and, increase your happiness level, in general.
- When you exercise, you push yourself physically. By achieving small targets every day, you can increase your confidence level and improve your mental health.
How much exercise should you aim for?
The ideal amount of exercise depends from person to person. It also depends on what mental (and, physical) ailment you are suffering at the moment.
However, a good thumb of rule is to aim for at least 30 minutes (or, more) of exercise for at least three to five days a week. It can be anything – from lifting heavy weights to cycling to swimming to taking the dog out for a walk or just a short, light yoga session. The idea is to simply exercise for some time.
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