Exercise for Mental Health: 10 Keys to Get and Stay Moving

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in four adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. Mental health disorders can have a debilitating effect on every aspect of a person’s life, making it difficult to work, socialize and even take care of basic needs. Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment for mental health disorders, with benefits that are both immediate and long-lasting. A single session of exercise can help to improve mood and energy levels, and regular exercise has been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Additionally, exercise helps to improve cognitive function and reduces the risk of developing dementia. For people with chronic conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, exercise can help to improve symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse. Exercise is also an effective treatment for addiction, helping people to cope with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. In addition to these mental health benefits, exercise also helps to improve physical health, making it an important part of a well-rounded treatment plan.

Assuming you have no physical limitations, here are 10 keys to get and stay moving:

1. Schedule it in:

Just like any important appointment, make time for exercise and put it in your calendar. This will help to make it a priority. It can be easily to forget or make excuses to skip a workout, but if you schedule it in like any other important engagement, you are more likely to follow through. You can also get creative with your workouts and schedule them around other activities. For example, if you know you have a busy day ahead, wake up early and get your workout in before starting your day. Or, if you have some down time in the evening, use that time to go for a walk or run. By making exercise a priority, you will be on your way to leading a healthier lifestyle.

2. Set a goal:

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set a specific goal. When you have a clear objective, it becomes easier to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked. Trying to accomplish something without a specific goal in mind is often compared to driving without a destination; you may eventually get somewhere, but the journey will be much more difficult and time-consuming. So, if you’re struggling to stay motivated, sit down and take some time to establish a clear goal. Once you have a specific target in mind, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to stay on track.

3. Find a workout buddy:

While some people find it easy to stick to their workout routine, others find it harder to stay motivated. If you’re struggling to stay on track, finding a workout buddy can make all the difference. A friend can provide both motivation and accountability, helping you push yourself when you need it and keeping you accountable when you’re tempted to skip a session. In addition, working out with a friend can be more enjoyable than going it alone. With someone to chat with and share your experiences with, you’re likely to find that your workouts are more enjoyable and easier to stick with in the long term. So if you’re looking for a way to stay motivated, consider finding a workout buddy. It could be the key to success.

4. Join a class:

Adding some variety to your workout routine is a great way to stay motivated, and one of the best ways to do that is to take a class. Whether it’s a dance class, a yoga class, or a boot camp-style workout, participating in a group activity can help you push yourself harder than you would if you were working out on your own. And, of course, it’s also more fun to workout with others. Classes also give you the opportunity to meet new people who share your interest in fitness, which can lead to lasting friendships.

5. Get outdoors:

As anyone who has ever been stuck indoors for a prolonged period of time can attest, being cooped up can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get some fresh air and exercise without having to go to the gym. One great option is to take advantage of good weather and head outdoors for a workout. Not only will you get some much-needed Vitamin D, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the beauty of nature. There are endless possibilities for outdoor workouts, so it’s easy to find something that fits your interests and fitness level. And best of all, it’s free! So next time the sun is shining, take advantage of the opportunity to get some fresh air and a great workout.

6. Make it a habit:

Anyone who has ever tried to establish a new exercise routine knows that it can be difficult to stick with it. It may be hard to find the time, or you may not feel motivated. You may even start making excuses. However, it is important to remember that the more you exercise, the easier it will become. Soon it will be something you do without even thinking about it. Just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower, it will become a habit. And like any habit, the key is to make it easy on yourself at first. Start small and gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts. If you can make it through the first few weeks, you’ll be well on your way to making exercise a part of your daily routine.

7. Find something you enjoy:

It’s important to find an activity that you enjoy if you want to stick with it. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re not likely to keep at it. Make sure to choose something that is enjoyable for you. This will help you stay motivated and increase your chances of success. When you’re doing something you enjoy, it doesn’t feel like work. You’re more likely to stick with it because it’s something you look forward to. So take some time to find an activity that you can really get behind. It’ll make all the difference in whether or not you stick with it in the long run.

8. Be flexible:

It can be all too easy to get into a workout rut. You find an activity that you enjoy and stick with it, week after week, month after month. But eventually, the shine starts to wear off. The activity that once seemed fun and exciting becomes monotonous and dull. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to mix things up. Trying different activities is a great way to keep your workout interesting. Not only will you avoid getting bored, but you may also find new activities that you enjoy even more than your old standby. So don’t be afraid to switch things up. Your workout will thank you for it.

9. Set small goals:

Feeling overwhelmed by a large goal is a common experience. Whether it’s finally getting in shape or finishing that important project at work, it can be tough to stay motivated when the finish line seems so far away. That’s why it’s important to set small goals and celebrate each accomplishment along the way. By breaking up a big goal into manageable bite-sized pieces, you can stay focused and motivated throughout the entire process. And celebrating each milestone will help to keep you on track, providing a much-needed boost of adrenaline when you start to flag. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by a daunting task, remember to set small goals and celebrate your accomplishments. It’s the best way to stay smiling all the way to the finish line.

10. Persevere:

There will be days when you just don’t feel like working out. Maybe you’re tired, or maybe you’re just not in the mood. Whatever the reason, it’s important to push through and get up and do it anyway. Exercise is essential for maintaining your health and well-being, and even on days when you don’t feel like it, it’s important to stick with it. Persevere, and eventually, you’ll find that pushing through those tough days is worth it. You’ll feel better, both physically and mentally. So next time you’re feeling low, just remember that if you can get up and exercise anyway, you’ll be glad you did.

Exercise is important for mental health. It can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels. These 10 keys will help you to get and stay moving.

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