Apart from its many physical benefits, exercise is also one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your mental health.

A little regular exercise can have a profound effect on all aspects of your emotional wellbeing. For starters, physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Exercise can also relieve stress, ease depression and anxiety, improve your memory, help you sleep better, and boost your overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits.

A few of the simple activities that can alleviate stress are walking, breathing, dancing, taking up a sport, etc. It can be anything, as long as you enjoy it.

Here are six ways that exercise can help you beat stress:

Start small

When you’re under the cloud of an emotional disorder and haven’t exercised for a long time, setting yourself extravagant goals like completing a marathon or working out for an hour every morning will only leave you more despondent if you fall short. Better to set yourself achievable goals and build up from there.

Focus on activities you enjoy

Any activity that gets you moving counts. That could include reconnecting with a sport you love, walking laps of a mall while window shopping or cycling in your colony. If you’ve never exercised before or don’t know what you might enjoy, try a few different things. Activities such as gardening or active housework can also be great ways to start moving and they also leave you with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Schedule your workout at the time of day when your energy is highest

That may be first thing in the morning before work or school, or at lunchtime before the mid-afternoon lull hits. If depression or anxiety has you feeling tired and unmotivated all day long, try dancing to some music or simply going for a walk. Even a short, 15-minute walk can help clear your mind, improve your mood, and boost your energy level. As you move and start to feel a little better, you’ll experience a greater sense of control over your wellbeing and even feel e

That may be first thing in the morning before work or school, or at lunchtime before the mid-afternoon lull hits. If depression or anxiety has you feeling tired and unmotivated all day long, try dancing to some music or simply going for a walk. Even a short, 15-minute walk can help clear your mind, improve your mood, and boost your energy level. As you move and start to feel a little better, you’ll experience a greater sense of control over your wellbeing and even feel energized enough to exercise more vigorously.

Be comfortable

Whatever time of day you decide to exercise, wear clothing that’s comfortable and choose a setting that you find calming or energizing.

Reward yourself

 Part of the reward of completing an activity is how much better you’ll feel afterwards, but it always helps your motivation to promise yourself an extra treat for exercising. Reward yourself with a delicious smoothie or an extra episode of your favorite TV show.

Make exercise a social activity

Exercising with a friend or loved one, or even your kids will not only make exercising more fun and enjoyable, it can also help to motivate you to stick to a workout routine. Also, when you’re suffering from a mood disorder such as depression, the companionship can be just as important as the exercise.

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Written by Roshini Gilbert

Roshini Gilbert

After a diligent workout plan helped her lose 30kg of post-pregnancy weight, chartered accountant Roshini Gilbert was inspired enough to go from tallying numbers to training others. A freelance personal trainer today, Roshini has been certified by the American Council on Exercises (ACE) for functional fitness and specialises in post-natal weight loss, exercises for low back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. She also has REHAB Trainer certification from Australia for rehabilitative exercises and has trained with reputed sports physiotherapist Ulrik Larsen in corrective exercises and injury management. In HealthifyMe, Roshini has found a collaborator with a common cause – making people fit to live life to the fullest. Her assessment of how fit you are is based on three broad guidelines — stamina, body age (a person who looks way older than his age can’t be deemed healthy) and lifestyle (beware, those with bad eating habits and sedentary behaviour). Prepare yourself mentally first and then your body will follow, she says, of the opinion that if you want to change something about yourself then you need to challenge yourself to do it. Are you up for it?

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hi roshin,
    I am Harishh a yoga therapy expert, but also interested in rehabilitation, seen your credentials ” REHAB Trainer certification from Australia for rehabilitative exercises and has trained with reputed sports physiotherapist Ulrik Larsen in corrective exercises and injury management.” Can you guide me regarding where did you do the REHAB Trainer certification ?

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