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  • Can physical exercise help with mental health issues?

    Discussion in 'Training' started by admin, Jan 18, 2024.

    1. admin

      admin Administrator

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      Physical exercise can indeed be beneficial for mental health and may help in managing certain mental illnesses. Here's a brief overview of how exercise impacts mental health:

      1. Reduction in Depression and Anxiety Symptoms: Regular physical activity can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, often referred to as feel-good hormones, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. It also helps in reducing cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress.

      2. Stress Relief: Engaging in physical exercise can lower stress levels. Physical activity increases norepinephrine concentration, a chemical that can moderate the brain's response to stress.

      3. Boost in Self-Esteem and Confidence: Regular exercise can contribute to improved self-esteem and self-confidence. As physical fitness improves, a person may feel more positively about their appearance and bodily functions, enhancing their perception of self-worth.

      4. Improved Sleep: Exercise can contribute to better sleep patterns. Engaging in regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep, which is particularly beneficial for those with sleep disturbances, a common issue in many mental health conditions.

      5. Enhanced Cognitive Function: Physical activity, especially aerobic exercises, can positively impact cognitive functions. It can improve memory, attention, and processing speed, which are often affected in mental health conditions.

      6. Social Interaction: Exercise can also offer social benefits. Participating in group sports, joining a gym, or attending fitness classes can provide opportunities for social interaction and support, which is essential for mental well-being.

      7. Management of PTSD and Trauma: Certain types of exercise, particularly those that involve rhythmic movement (like walking, running, swimming), can help the nervous system become "unstuck" and begin to move out of the immobilization stress response characteristic of PTSD or trauma.
      It's important to note that while exercise can be a helpful tool in managing symptoms of mental illness, it is often most effective when used in combination with other treatments, such as therapy and medication. Additionally, the type and intensity of exercise that is beneficial can vary from person to person. It's always recommended to consult with healthcare professionals to develop a treatment plan that includes an appropriate exercise regimen, particularly for those with mental health disorders.
       
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    2. Myjourney

      Myjourney Well-Known Member

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      I absolutely agree with this! I've found that regular jogging has not only improved my physical health but also my mental clarity. It's like a form of meditation for me. I think the key is finding an exercise you enjoy; it shouldn't feel like a chore. And yes, pairing it with professional advice is crucial, especially when dealing with specific mental health issues.
       
    3. Newstarter

      Newstarter Well-Known Member

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      Sorry I've not been on for a while, but I saw this post and had to comment.

      This is spot on, especially about exercise improving sleep and reducing anxiety. I started yoga a few months back, and it's amazing how it's helped my sleep patterns. I used to struggle with insomnia, but now I find myself falling asleep much faster and sleeping more deeply. It's a holistic approach to mental well-being that I wish more people knew about.
       
    4. Toneup

      Toneup Well-Known Member

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      Great points!

      I'd like to add that it's important not to overdo it. Exercise is beneficial, but over-exercising can sometimes have the opposite effect, particularly on mental health. It's all about balance and listening to your body. Also, mixing different types of exercises can keep things interesting and beneficial across different aspects of physical and mental health.
       
    5. Newstarter

      Newstarter Well-Known Member

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      Absolutely, your addition is spot on!

      Emphasising the importance of not over-exercising is crucial. While the benefits of physical activity for mental health are evident, as outlined earlier, it's vital to remember that too much exercise can be counterproductive.

      This highlights the need for balance and tuning into your body's signals.

      Your point about varying exercise types is also key; it not only prevents boredom but also ensures a more holistic approach to physical and mental wellness.

      Engaging in a mix of aerobic, strength, flexibility, and relaxation exercises can cater to different aspects of health, making the routine more comprehensive and enjoyable.
       
    6. Toneup

      Toneup Well-Known Member

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      While physical exercise is beneficial for mental health, including in the management of PTSD and trauma, it's important to emphasize the need for professional guidance. PTSD and trauma are complex conditions where exercise alone might not suffice. Professional therapy is often essential for safe and effective treatment.

      Particularly in PTSD cases, certain exercises might trigger flashbacks or traumatic memories. A healthcare professional can tailor an exercise regimen that avoids these triggers and works alongside therapeutic approaches. Therefore, while exercise can be a valuable part of treatment, it should be under the guidance of a mental health professional to ensure safety and complement other therapies.
       
    7. timmothysmith01

      timmothysmith01 Well-Known Member

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      Exercise can help with mental health issues. Regular exercise can improve mental health and emotional well-being, and lower the risk of mental illness.
       
    8. ricardohector

      ricardohector New Member

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      Physical exercise offers numerous benefits for mental health, including reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, relieving stress, boosting self-esteem, improving sleep, enhancing cognitive function, facilitating social interaction, and aiding in the management of PTSD and trauma. It's crucial to integrate exercise into a comprehensive treatment plan for mental health, alongside therapy and medication, with guidance from healthcare professionals.
       
    9. Garv Singhal

      Garv Singhal Member

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      Great post. This explains how exercise helps mental health in a clear way. The bit about rhythmic movement for PTSD was new to me - that's interesting! Like you said, finding activities you enjoy is key. Exercise can be fun too!
       
    10. FT Mike

      FT Mike Active Member

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      I completely agree with this.
      I have discovered that consistent jogging has not only enhanced my physical well-being but also sharpened my mental focus.
      I truly believe that the essential factor is finding an activity you genuinely love; it should never feel like a burden. And indeed, getting professional guidance is vital, especially when navigating through particular mental health challenges.
       

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