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  5. OHC Truths #09: Why Physical Activity Is Important For Mental Health

OHC Truths #09: Why Physical Activity Is Important For Mental Health

Why Physical Activity Is Important For Mental Health | Orchard Health Clinic

When we talk about physical activity, we immediately think about long gym workout sessions but they are not the same thing. Physical activity is any activity that works your muscles and requires energy. This can include work, household, or leisure activities.⁣⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣Various types of daily physical activities such as walking, taking the stairs instead of the lift or even cycling can aid in improving your mood. You do not have to do all your different physical activities at once but the best way is to add small amounts of them throughout your day. A quick 10-15min of physical activity a day can make a bigger long-lasting difference if you stick with it. ⁣⁣⁣⁣
Physical activity has loads of beneficial health effects on the body such as protection against heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, improving sleep, and lowering blood pressure. Emotionally and psychologically, physical activity can support fighting depression and anxiety. You will gain self-confidence when you meet your exercise goals and get into shape, foster social interaction with others when you are in the gym or exercise class and it can be used as a healthy coping mechanism in dealing with depression and anxiety. The release of feel-good endorphins and other natural brain chemicals enhances your sense of well-being while taking your mind off the negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.⁣⁣⁣⁣
But where to begin?⁣⁣⁣⁣
– Find an activity that you enjoy doing to fit into your daily routine as you are more likely to stick to it.⁣⁣⁣⁣
– Talk to your GP or therapist for guidance in including a physical activity routine into your overall treatment plan.⁣⁣⁣⁣
– Set realistic small goals you can reach and tailor your routine to your own abilities.⁣⁣⁣⁣
– Look at physical activity positively as one of the tools to help you get better.⁣⁣⁣⁣
– Analyze the barriers that are stopping you from being physically active and find what works best for you.⁣⁣⁣⁣
– Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction no matter how small.

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