Listen up, readers; we know that when it comes to exercising, you think of looking the best with better abs, but have you considered the mental benefits of breaking a sweat?
Mental health exercise is where it’s at!
Sometimes our mind needs something more than just conversations. There might be times when you don’t have the urge to talk about anything, and your mind is searching for alternatives to channel your thoughts. So if you want to take action, join one of these amazing mental health exercise classes. Your mind will thank you for the endomorphin rush.
You may still be questioning why you should exercise or what are the mental benefits.
Let’s clear your quandary: Why should you exercise?
We know you are finding a strong reason to convince yourself to opt for mental health exercise classes. So let’s know more. What exactly is the link between exercise and your mental health?
A Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry study stated that exercise is an essential “lifestyle modification”, especially among individuals who suffer from mental illness because they are more prone to chronic diseases due to their sedentary behavior.
You may have noticed that exercise mainly revolves around the concept of having good physical health and body. The entire concept of exercise and mental health is often neglected. When it comes to the issue of mental health, you don’t generally consider exercising to feel better. There are many reasons for this:
- Individuals suffering from mental illness or mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, etc., may find it difficult to complete their daily tasks.
- Mental health issues tend to make individuals lose motivation and interest in improving their lifestyles.
During this, it’s very challenging to get the strength to exercise. So, let us help you start small. Start by understanding what your body needs and how your mind is affected by the bare minimum of physical activities. We will help you convince yourself. Let’s understand how exercises help improve your mental health.
Do workouts improve mental health?
Ever wondered why you feel the freshness after you are done with your workout sessions or after a run, dance, or any kind of physical activity?
Well, we have the answer for you, there are many mental benefits of exercise.
2. Makes you feel better:
Exercise doesn’t have to be exhausting. Start slow, start small, and be consistent. A brisk walk for 5 minutes is way better than no bodily movement. If you love running, run until you feel better; if you love dancing, dance to your heart’s content, or you can also try gardening as a form of exercise. It’s all about feeling better. Doing what you love is also a form of exercise.
3. Reduces mental health issues:
Exercise helps reduce anxiety and depression, elevates your mood, increases blood circulation to the brain, and reduces stress. Mental health exercise classes will help you learn healthy coping skills, which will help you develop mentally and make you feel better. Exercising relaxes the tension in our body and mind making us better at functioning.
Exercising helps motivate yourself. It motivates you to try new things, has a proper routine, and develop healthy habits. While coping with mental health issues, motivating yourself to stick to a healthy lifestyle is difficult. Sometimes, you might turn towards unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking or stress eating. Exercising is similar to diverting this negative energy but healthily.
5. Improves your social interactions:
Very importantly, exercise helps improve social interactions. There are many group exercises or classes where you can meet new people. Sometimes when you are stressed and depressed, the urge to interact with others decreases. And in such a situation, if you get to interact with people, you might feel good. But that doesn’t mean that you force yourself. Do things at your own pace. If you feel like not talking, then don’t. You can always start by just exchanging smiles.
Well, these were some of the mental benefits of exercising. You may still be dwelling on the thought of exercising. It’s absolutely fine. It takes time. The first step is to accept that your feelings are valid. Don’t label yourself as ‘lazy’. Mental health issues can be challenging, and you are doing your best.
Now, let us dive into what activities fall under the spectrum of mental health exercises.
What exercises are best for your mental health?
As you know, there are tons and tons of exercises and activities that you can choose from if you want to feel better. The key to finding the best one is practicing them slowly and constantly observing how your body and mind feel.
Remember one thing, don’t strain yourself. It is about feeling relaxed and fresh. You don’t necessarily have to lift heavy weights to make you feel better. Listen to your body and set your goals. Slow and steady wins the race. The race here is your healthy mental health.
So here are some of the mental health exercises that you can try:
Are you feeling exhausted and anxious? Time to namaste away the stress with yoga! Yoga is a great mental health exercise if you are looking for something slow and less tiring. There are many yoga poses that will help you mentally and physically.
Mental health benefits of yoga: Yoga effectively reduces stress, depression, and anxiety by clearing your mind and calming your nerves. Yoga helps regulate heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. Individuals suffering from post-traumatic disorders can also benefit from the calming effects of yoga. Yoga is also known to help induce proper sound sleep and positive attitudes toward life.
So if you’re tired of being a ball of stress and tension, roll out your mat and strike a pose. You will feel amazing!
Not every exercise needs to be about running or lifting weights. Deep breathing is a mental health exercise that you can practice for 10 to 15 minutes daily to help boost your mental health. The process of deep breathing is about concentrating on your breathing pattern by sitting still in a quiet place and following slow-paced breathing.
Mental health benefits of deep breathing: Deep breathing helps calm your mind and body by relaxing your muscles and regulating heart rate and blood circulation. Deep breathing increases your concentration and focus.
Another great mental health exercise to feel better is cycling. Even when we were kids, we loved cycling. But with time, we grew up and so made our choices. Now we have cars, scooters, buses, and what not to use. Though it’s not bad to have cars or scooters, sometimes taking out your cycle from your garage can help your body and mind.
Mental health benefits of Cycling: Cycling is a great exercise to reduce stress and anxiety. Cycling is even cheaper than a gym membership. It is an excellent exercise for your mind and helps you focus and concentrate on the present. It enables you to experience nature and interact with people. Cycling once in a while keeps you healthy and fit.
Then why wait?
Hop on your bike and see where the rides take you.
Running is a great mental health exercise. It helps your body and makes you feel like a superhero. While running, you are your hype person; you feel happy and satisfied when you complete your run. It helps you feel fresh and happy.
Mental health benefits of running: According to WebMD, running is an excellent way of boosting your happiness. A happy mind is exactly what we need. If you are happy, you’ll feel less stressed, lowering anxiety and depression levels.
Aerobics is a great mood-enhancing mental health exercise. They help your body and mind by regulating heart palpitations and blood circulation. They make you feel energized and happy.
Mental health benefits of aerobic exercises: The melancholy of depression may be lessened, the tension brought on by anxiety may be lessened, and relaxation may be encouraged through aerobic activity. It can raise your sense of self-worth and mental health. It may also help you sleep better.
Meditation or mindfulness is a way of calming your mind and body and is an effective
mental health exercise. There are many kinds of meditation, each serving a specific purpose. Meditation is an exercise believed in making you wiser and more mature.
Mental health benefits of meditation:
Meditation has numerous benefits; some of them are being able to concentrate and focus on the present, calming down anxiety or stress, and regulating negative thoughts to positive ones.
Who doesn’t like to groove to their favorite song? Dancing is a wonderful way to ease away stress and anxiety, being a fun mental health exercise. When you want a bit of motivation to feel better, put on some songs and dance your hearts out.
Mental Health Benefits of Dancing: According to WebMd, while you learn, move, and perform, dancing can lift your spirits. In actuality, many people enroll in dancing classes because they cheer them up.
It also helps reduce anxiety and depression. Dancing is a powerful exercise that works muscles and increases heart rate. By releasing specific brain chemicals during exercise, depression and anxiety symptoms can be reduced. It also offers a means of escaping persistently unfavorable thoughts and problems.
What mental health exercise classes can you take?
You can start exercising from your home or opt for classes where you can learn mental health exercises with the help of trainers. Here are some amazing exercise studio classes that will help you with your body and mind, making you feel fresh and new!
1. Yoga: Lululemon Yoga classes
Lululemon is one of the American-Canadian-based mental health exercise classes with an emphasis on yoga that sells clothing, accessories, and free online video courses on various styles of yoga. You may get in-depth video classes on yoga from their top experts, including lessons on yoga for beginners, yoga for calming down, and many more.
2. Fitness: Tracy Anderson online studio
Based in New York, Tracy Anderson’s mental health exercise classes is a pioneer in the fitness industry and a leading authority in fitness. Her 14-day sample offered online studio program features her custom-designed fitness courses for beginners, intermediates, and expert levels. After a trial, the monthly fee is $90.
3. Aerobics: Poe fair haven
Poe Fair Haven exercise classes is a gym with locations in New Jersey that mostly focuses on aerobic exercise and also offers hot yoga lessons. They offer their first class for free before charging $65 for an unrestricted subscription for two months.
4. Martial Arts: DougPierre
In the States, Doug Pierre is well-known as a sifu. He has 65 years of teaching experience at Village Mixed Martial Arts Institute and teaches a variety of martial arts disciplines. Classes in Combat Tai Chi Chuan, Arnis-Kali-Eskrima, Force 12 System, Karate, grappling, and kickboxing are available at the Village Mixed Martial Arts Institute.
5. Jiu- Jitsu: Bronx Jiu-Jitsu
A martial arts school called Bronx Jiu-Jitsu teaches the Brazilian and Japanese styles of jiu-jitsu. This school aims to provide the best instruction and learning opportunities for both young people and adults.
6. Dance: Dancebody
Dancebody, a New York-based fitness center exercise classes, offers dancing workout sessions. Both online courses are available, starting at $34.99 per month or $349 per year. DanceBody proves unequivocally that the most significant measurement is how you feel by dramatically impacting your mind, energy, and confidence.
7. Crossfit: Brazenathletics
In-home private CrossFit exercise classes are offered by Brazenathletics in Hoboken, New Jersey. Also, they provide a free sample of their classes. This studio aims to show you how a balanced exercise program may help you feel better about yourself both physically and mentally.
8. Martial Arts: International martial arts center
With 25 years of experience, the International Martial Arts Center offers martial arts classes for various age groups. They support the development of self-control and confidence, particularly in kids and adults. As an added convenience, they offer private and semi-private training.
9. Strength training: Anna KaiserStudios
The Anna Kaiser exercise classes provide a program alternating between dancing, cardio, and strength training at various prices. The studio believes that “every move you make should have a purpose”. They also provide private training, retreats, and transformation goals. The studio believes in enhancing the body, mind, and spirit.
10. HIIT Workout: The Fhitingroom
For HIIT and kettlebell exercise classes, turn to The Fhitingroom. Three sites in New York City host their offline classes, and they also provide online instruction. For an efficient total body workout, Fhitting Room’s distinctive programming blends high-intensity interval training, strength training, a variety of exercises, and functional movements.
10. HIIT workout: FlexfitNYC
Brooklyn-based FlexfitNYC offers highly effective HIIT and cross-fit exercise classes starting at $25 per session. It tries to create an environment that enables you to achieve your mental health goals.
How to motivate yourself to exercise?
Now that you have decided to start your exercise journey to boost your physical and mental health, how to keep yourself motivated?
Motivation is the key to consistency. What motivates you might not motivate others or vice versa. So first, stop copying others. Somebody else’s routine might not be the one for you, and if you force yourself to do what is not suited for your body, you will lose interest and be back to square one.
So when you are about start exercising, be it any kind of yoga or a HIIT workout, remember certain things:
- Set your goals: Your goals should be realistic. Set your monthly goals; what do you expect from the exercise, and how do you decide to do it? Make a log of your exercises and maintain them. Your progress is what will keep you motivated.
- Join any community: Nothing can be better than joining a group of people with similar goals. They are the people who will motivate you to be consistent. Many communities include gyms, yoga classes, deep breathing communities, and meditation communities.
- Take rest: If you constantly keep overexerting yourself, there’s a chance that you might stop doing it altogether. Rest is always an essential factor in achieving something valuable. If you rest, you give your body the time to heal so that you are further motivated to start tomorrow.
- Reward yourself: What can be better than appreciation after you have achieved something? It motivates us to get better with time. Similarly with exercising, appreciating and rewarding yourself with a break or a rest day, or a cheat meal has been seen as effective in keeping anyone motivated.
In all this, there are certain precautions you should always take when exercising to keep you safe and away from any damage to your mental or physical health.
What are the precautions you should take while exercising?
Let us start with ”precautions are better than the cure.” This saying is also important when you are exercising for your body and mental health. You must remember some precautions:
- Don’t strain yourself. If you increase the intensity of the exercises on the first day, your body and mind will fail to cope. You will feel stressed and devasted about not being able to perform well. So start small and gradually get better with it.
- Remember the proper posture if you are practicing yoga or martial arts. Posture is essential to avoid any kind of injury or illness.
- Stay hydrated always. Water is your best companion. Your mind can function well if you are hydrated enough. Drink water between your sessions to improve your performance.
- Listen to your body. Everything is about your body and mind. None of these exercises will help you enhance your mental health if your body and mind are in pain or stress. So listen to your body. Understand what it needs and what you are doing wrong.
So there you have it, different mental health exercise classes that can help you stay fit mentally and physically. These exercises can only work when you are consistent with them. Try various activities and find the one that suits you the most. Listen and acknowledge your feelings when you practice these exercises. But you don’t have to force or hurry. Start with a slow pace. Go steady; go long. Remember that you have to relax your mind and not strain it.
Just like these exercises, there are certain self-care activities that you can also practice to help your stressed and frustrated self feel better. If you want to learn these self-care activities, click here and feel better.
Also, you can subscribe to our page, Your Mental Health Pal, to learn more about various mental health issues and ways to feel better.