Healthy Mind and Exercise/Fitness: What activity?

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Many authorities make a clear distinction between health and fitness. I disagree: done right, fitness provides a great margin of protection for mental and physical health. Fitness is and should be “super-wellness.” Activity, exercise and fitness all contribute to healthy mind.

The mind and body are not separate from one another. What affects one affects the other. The Department of Health recommends that adults should be active daily and complete at least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week. So if it is recognized that adults need about 150 mins of heart pumping physical activity a week to keep lower blood pressure or the risk of diseases what about our minds? How often do you go to a class to calm your mind or to practice your deep breathing? I know there are time I do a class with the primary focus of boosting my mood, improving sleep and easing my stress.

It’s clear different exercises or activities work for different needs. To boost your concentration and focus you might choose physically and mentally demanding cross fit.

The mental health benefits of Pilates often get overlooked because of the traditional focus on Pilates for back health and core strength. Pilates is a mindful activity, brilliant for stress reduction and relaxation. Simply moving and mobilising your body restores wellbeing and the focus on breathing impacts on sleep and relaxation.

Resistance training can build strength and self-esteem. It is documented that low- moderate intensity resistance training will decrease anxiety and improve cognition. Personally, I recognise it frequently steady moods and reduces fatigue. Self-esteem is about confidence in one’s own worth and abilities. I strongly believe aking care of your physical self can increase confidence and positivity.

The NHS especially recommends the following for improving mental health: Running, Boxing, Pilates, Yoga, Spin class, Resistance training.

You are in control, it’s your choice, you are the authority: what do you want to change?

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