Fitness and mental health. - MissLJBeauty

Fitness and mental health.

It's a mental health awareness month. This is a topic close to my heart. As you will all know I suffer from depression and anxiety. Today we are talking about the benefits of fitness on the road to recovery. 

Before I get started. This is not a cure. I highly recommend seeking help from a qualified therapist to help you work through your issues. This can be done online or face-to-face. Whatever you choose to get help. I am a huge advocate of seeking help with mental illness. There should be no stigma in getting help for any problem in life. Let alone mental problems. 

I have had struggles with my mental health. I always find fitness a great help in my recovery process.
There have been many scientific studies on mental health and using fitness as a recovery mechanism. I want to share with you my favourite activities and why they can help you with your road to recovery. 

The benefits
In the words of Elle Woods, "Exercise gives you endorphins". Endorphins are our happy hormones. This is an important hormone to stimulate when you are feeling lost or down. Exercise is known to help with concentration. It is also known to help if you are suffering from insomnia. I know I suffered from sleepless nights. Especially when I was in the grips of my depression. I need to become physically exhausted to make my mind have no choice but to switch off. There is also the added benefit that exercise will help you lose weight and feel better about yourself. Or if you need to gain weight this can also help you win that process. Everyone's fitness journey is there own. Never forget that. 

Let's start with my favourite.

There is something freeing about being on a bike. It almost brings you back to a carefree part of your life. I personally love the feeling of being outside in nature. I find it helps me ground myself and get me out of my head. There is something magical about spinning the pedals and going somewhere else. This doesn't have to be as extreme as me. I mountain bike. You can always go to your nearest spin class and get hot and sweaty. Making your body move is a great way to calm the mind as It has to focus on the task at hand. 

Running Or walking
There was a very large study into running and walking as a form of therapy for people suffering from depression. It showed that getting out walking or running gives you that famous running high and this, in turn, can work as an antidepressant. This is known as Ecotherapy. Runner says they find running a way to calm their mind.  Running has been known to help your thought process and help you clear your thoughts. 

Weight training. 
Which can go by a number of names? Resistance training, Weight lifting, whatever you call it.  Using weights in your fitness routine has been found to help improve the function of your central nervous system. This has a huge impact on your mood and fatigue levels. There is something a bit primal knowing your body can lift things you never dreamed it could. This also gives you no time to think about what is swinging about your head. When you weight lifts, you need to be switched on at all times to prevent injury.  

I find meditation really helpful when I am having a bad period. This is where I found Yoga. Did you know that mental health issues can also come with physical side effects? For me, I had muscle cramps and stomach pain. Yoga focus on your body and mind. This is the best form of exercise and meditation all rolled into one activity. In yoga, you are brought back to basics. Learning how to breathe and stretch your body in ways you never knew possible. It is also great for quite a busy mind. 

Something completely different
Try new things. We can all get too caught up in the normal more common ways of keeping fit but why not try something really different like rollerblading or buy a couple Stunt Scooters and learn stunts with your friends or other halves. I want to try BMXing who said these things are for the young. I am a mountain biker and I know a lot of people who BMX and do trick on stunt scooters. There is nothing more rewarding than finding a new passion and advancing in that sport. So why not think out the box and try something out of your comfort zone. I did and I found mountain biking. 

There are many ways to take up these activities from joining your local gym to online classes and videos. Whatever you choose to try to get active and see if it can help you as it has helped me with my depression.