When it comes to working out, many people usually do it to improve physical health and physique. But beyond weight loss and muscle building, people who exercise regularly tend to also feel a sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it’s also a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges you may face.
Sadly, being "busy" isn't a good enough excuse not to get moving. As we previously discussed in the Gymwrap Blog, exercise can even be an effective coping mechanism during your most stressful work days.
So while any exercise you do can potentially give you a rush of those uplifting hormones, some activities are more likely to boost your mental health. Here are some of those workouts you should try at your next workout session.
It's no coincidence that you usually feel strong, centered and relaxed after a yoga session. This has to do with yoga's emphasis on self-awareness, being in the moment, and connecting your breathing with your movements, which allows practitioners to clear their head and re-align.
“Yoga may help strengthen social attachments, reduce stress and relieve anxiety, depression and insomnia,” as outlined in the The Best Types of Exercise for Mental Health article.
Contrary to the calm, steady pace of yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of aerobic activity that has you performing short bouts of very intense exercise. HIIT requires a ton of focus – so much so that you tend to forget everything else, including the things that have you stressed out outside of the gym. By the time those endorphins hit, you most likely won't even remember why you were so stressed in the first place.
Walking is free and you can walk anywhere without any additional equipment. And what's better, the more you do it the more you'll notice the amazing benefits. Walking has been known to boost energy, improve overall mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your sleep routine. You can read more here on why
“walking is man’s best medicine."
We know everyone has felt frustrated at some point, boxing can be the ultimate outlet for all of that aggression and anger. Because boxing is all about those moments of release, and it leaves you feeling uplifted and empowered. Even when you’re not particularly stressed, doing repetitive movements takes you out of the day-to-day and puts you in the zone. Boxing is also an effective way to foster more self-confidence, and who doesn't want more of that?
No matter your age, weight or athletic ability, aerobic activity is good for you. Aerobic activities, whether you are running, cycling, swimming, can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce pain, and greatly improve your overall mood. These exercises really get the heart pumping, which increases your blood flow and body temperature. And this warm sensation post-aerobics is similar to that of a warm bath, thus relaxing your body and reducing muscle tension. Moreover, aerobic exercise provides a wide range of benefits for the body and brain.