It may seem like a paradox when you don’t feel very good mentally and you think about doing any type of exercise. It feels like you don’t have what it takes sometimes. It is understandable that feeling upset and unstable in your mind can make exercise seem scary, hard, exhausting, or dangerous.

However, it is quite important to push through those experiences and force yourself to get some light to moderate exercise when things seem really bad. This article will explain a little bit about this.

Why you should exercise to relieve mental health issues:

1. Exercise can sometimes treat depression and anxiety – Studies show that mild and moderate depression and anxiety can be treated just as effectively with exercise as antidepressants and anxiety medications, without the side effects. A Harvard study said that a fifteen minute run every day or a one hour walk every day reduces risk of depression and anxiety by almost 30 percent. Keeping a consistent exercise schedule can prevent anxiety and depression from coming back, too. So, find something you like.

2. Fights depression and anxiety – Exercise promotes positive changes and growth in your brain, including growth of neural pathways, reducing inflammation, and creating feelings of calmness and wellness. Endorphins released during exercise will make you feel good and give you some energy.

3. Temporary distraction – You shouldn’t always run away from your problems or avoid thinking about them. However, it is super important that your brain and body gets a break from the stress. Exercise takes you out of the cycle of worry and brings you into a more enjoyable experience. Choose an exercise you find enjoyable and worthwhile. You may find something that completely changes your life and becomes your favorite thing.

4. Exercise relaxes your body and muscles – This can help with anxiety because when your body is tense, your mind may also be tense. While you are doing physical activity, your body decompresses a bit and starts to relax. It releases tension in your body and focuses on what work you are trying to do while being active. It is more helpful for your brain to focus on physical activity than worrying about your daily life problems. If only for a moment.

5. Relieves many other ailments – It can help with constipation, ADHD, PTSD, trauma, better memory, self-esteem, improve your sleeping, give you more energy, and help you with every day physical demands such as vacuuming or deep cleaning. Any of these issues can contribute to poor mental health if they aren’t taken care of. Exercise can help with them all. Try an exercise that uses most of your body, such as dancing, hula hooping, or swimming.

Of course, before trying anything, make sure it is okay with your doctor to do physical activity first. Do not stop, start, or change medications unless your doctor advises you to.

Hopefully by now you are convinced that no matter how hard it seems, if your doctor says OK, you have to start doing some physical activity.

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