How Physical Education Helps To Develop Mental Fitness?
5 Ways Physical Fitness Leads to Mental Fitness We’re all familiar with the physical benefits of fitness and exercise, but did you know that your emotional and mental health improve with exercise, too? Historically, the mind, body, and spirit were treated as separate entities.
Reducing emotional pain (such as depression)Improving self-esteemIncreasing resilienceReducing stress and anxietyImproving concentration and focus
The World Health Organization (WHO) states, “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It’s no wonder that exercise can improve your mood, attitude, and mind! Let’s take a look at five ways your mental and emotional fitness is influenced by physical fitness and exercise.1.
- Endorphins The professor in me wants to give you so many details on endorphins, but Elle Woods explains it much more concisely (and I won’t pass up an opportunity to quote Legally Blonde!) – “Exercise releases endorphins.
- Endorphins make you happy.” I can’t fully turn off my professor side, so I’ll keep it short and sweet – Endorphins are the happy chemicals in your brain that produce euphoric feelings that reduce anxiety, improve your ability to relax, and decrease your ability to feel pain.
Ever had a great run or an awesome workout and feel like you’re on Cloud 9 afterwards? Thank your endorphins! And what research has demonstrated is that regular exercise supports the development and release of endorphins, triggering a positive feeling in your body well after your workout has ended.2.
Mental Clarity Your brain is constantly using energy and needs a steady flow of oxygen to function optimally. Exercise causes oxygen levels to rise as you increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping. Good oxygen flow to your brain also helps your brain create new cells. Each moment of the day, we are constantly taking in information from around us.
In order for this information to “stick” (aka encode), new cells must be created. This improves the overall performance of your brain, leading to improved concentration, clearer thinking, improved memory, and increased information retention/learning.3.
Stress Reduction Being stressed out wreaks havoc on your body. You’ll begin to feel physical symptoms like tension, headaches, stomach troubles, but you’ll also experience mental and emotional symptoms like irritability, insomnia, anxiety, etc. Exercise reduces stress not only through endorphins but by reducing the tension felt in your muscles and regulating your breathing and heart rate.
When your body feels better, your brain will, too! 4. Better Sleep Keep in mind that your endorphins help you achieve a more relaxed state, so of course your sleep will benefit from regular exercise! The quality of your sleep is important for your mental and emotional health – it’s hard to feel happiness and clarity when you feel exhausted.
Exercise increases the amount of time you spend in deep sleep, the stage where restorative benefits take place. Deep sleep assists immune system functioning, cardiovascular functioning, and helps control stress and anxiety. Without a good night’s sleep, you’re more likely to emotionally react to things around you rather than healthily respond to them.
The exhaustion that comes from lack of sleep can also lead to a negative outlook – you have less control of your mind and exhaustion makes it much harder to keep positive thoughts flowing. The better your sleep, the better your mental health! 5. Self-Esteem Boost When you exercise, you are benefiting yourself as a whole – mind, body, and spirit.
When you feel good about your choices and routines, your self-esteem increases! You’ll physically feel more comfortable and confident with your body’s abilities and progress. As you achieve small goals, your sense of pride and accomplishment will make you feel awesome and motivated to keep going. Exercise as a regular habit can make you feel powerful, in-control, and put-together.
- 1 How important is physical fitness to mental health?
Exercise and mental health
Combining all of these benefits provides a super boost to your self-worth! Treating yourself with compassion and care is something many of us struggle with. Through nourishing and supporting the connections between your mind-body-spirit, your journey to health and healing can begin! : 5 Ways Physical Fitness Leads to Mental Fitness
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How does physical fitness contribute to mental development?
Exercise and the mind – Exercise pumps blood to the brain, which can help you to think more clearly. It increases the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory. It also increases the connections between the nerve cells in the brain. This improves your memory and helps protect your brain against injury and disease.
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How important is physical fitness to mental health?
Health and Well-Being Matter is the monthly blog of the Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Everyone has their own way to “recharge” their sense of well-being — something that makes them feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually even if they aren’t consciously aware of it.
Personally, I know that few things can improve my day as quickly as a walk around the block or even just getting up from my desk and doing some push-ups. A hike through the woods is ideal when I can make it happen. But that’s me. It’s not simply that I enjoy these activities but also that they literally make me feel better and clear my mind.
Mental health and physical health are closely connected. No kidding — what’s good for the body is often good for the mind. Knowing what you can do physically that has this effect for you will change your day and your life. Physical activity has many well-established mental health benefits.
- These are published in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and include improved brain health and cognitive function (the ability to think, if you will), a reduced risk of anxiety and depression, and improved sleep and overall quality of life.
- Although not a cure-all, increasing physical activity directly contributes to improved mental health and better overall health and well-being.
Learning how to routinely manage stress and getting screened for depression are simply good prevention practices. Awareness is especially critical at this time of year when disruptions to healthy habits and choices can be more likely and more jarring.
Shorter days and colder temperatures have a way of interrupting routines — as do the holidays, with both their joys and their stresses. When the plentiful sunshine and clear skies of temperate months give way to unpredictable weather, less daylight, and festive gatherings, it may happen unconsciously or seem natural to be distracted from being as physically active.
However, that tendency is precisely why it’s so important that we are ever more mindful of our physical and emotional health — and how we can maintain both — during this time of year. Roughly half of all people in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder at some point in their lifetime, with anxiety and anxiety disorders being the most common.
Major depression, another of the most common mental health disorders, is also a leading cause of disability for middle-aged adults. Compounding all of this, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety can affect people’s ability to take part in health-promoting behaviors, including physical activity.
In addition, physical health problems can contribute to mental health problems and make it harder for people to get treatment for mental health disorders. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the need to take care of our physical and emotional health to light even more so these past 2 years.
- Recently, the U.S.
- Surgeon General highlighted how the pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis in youth,
- The good news is that even small amounts of physical activity can immediately reduce symptoms of anxiety in adults and older adults.
- Depression has also shown to be responsive to physical activity.
Research suggests that increased physical activity, of any kind, can improve depression symptoms experienced by people across the lifespan. Engaging in regular physical activity has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing depression in children and adults.
Though the seasons and our life circumstances may change, our basic needs do not. Just as we shift from shorts to coats or fresh summer fruits and vegetables to heartier fall food choices, so too must we shift our seasonal approach to how we stay physically active. Some of that is simply adapting to conditions: bundling up for a walk, wearing the appropriate shoes, or playing in the snow with the kids instead of playing soccer in the grass.
Sometimes there’s a bit more creativity involved. Often this means finding ways to simplify activity or make it more accessible. For example, it may not be possible to get to the gym or even take a walk due to weather or any number of reasons. In those instances, other options include adding new types of movement — such as impromptu dance parties at home — or doing a few household chores (yes, it all counts as physical activity).
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, I built a makeshift gym in my garage as an alternative to driving back and forth to the gym several miles from home.
- That has not only saved me time and money but also afforded me the opportunity to get 15 to 45 minutes of muscle-strengthening physical activity in at odd times of the day.
For more ideas on how to get active — on any day — or for help finding the motivation to get started, check out this Move Your Way® video, The point to remember is that no matter the approach, the Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (anything that gets your heart beating faster) each week and at least 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening activity (anything that makes your muscles work harder than usual).
- Youth need 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
- Preschool-aged children ages 3 to 5 years need to be active throughout the day — with adult caregivers encouraging active play — to enhance growth and development.
- Striving toward these goals and then continuing to get physical activity, in some shape or form, contributes to better health outcomes both immediately and over the long term.
For youth, sports offer additional avenues to more physical activity and improved mental health. Youth who participate in sports may enjoy psychosocial health benefits beyond the benefits they gain from other forms of leisure-time physical activity. Psychological health benefits include higher levels of perceived competence, confidence, and self-esteem — not to mention the benefits of team building, leadership, and resilience, which are important skills to apply on the field and throughout life.
- Research has also shown that youth sports participants have a reduced risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
- Additionally, team sports participation during adolescence may lead to better mental health outcomes in adulthood (e.g., less anxiety and depression) for people exposed to adverse childhood experiences.
In addition to the physical and mental health benefits, sports can be just plain fun. Physical activity’s implications for significant positive effects on mental health and social well-being are enormous, impacting every facet of life. In fact, because of this national imperative, the presidential executive order that re-established the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition explicitly seeks to “expand national awareness of the importance of mental health as it pertains to physical fitness and nutrition.” While physical activity is not a substitute for mental health treatment when needed and it’s not the answer to certain mental health challenges, it does play a significant role in our emotional and cognitive well-being.
No matter how we choose to be active during the holiday season — or any season — every effort to move counts toward achieving recommended physical activity goals and will have positive impacts on both the mind and the body. Along with preventing diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and the additional risks associated with these comorbidities, physical activity’s positive effect on mental health is yet another important reason to be active and Move Your Way,
As for me I think it’s time for a walk. Happy and healthy holidays, everyone! Yours in health, Paul Paul Reed, MD Rear Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Director, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
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What physical activities improve mental health?
Exercise for Mental Health Sir: In this era of exponential growth of the “metabolic syndrome” and obesity, lifestyle modifications could be a cost-effective way to improve health and quality of life. Lifestyle modifications can assume especially great importance in individuals with serious mental illness.
Many of these individuals are at a high risk of chronic diseases associated with sedentary behavior and medication side effects, including diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. An essential component of lifestyle modification is exercise. The importance of exercise is not adequately understood or appreciated by patients and mental health professionals alike.
Evidence has suggested that exercise may be an often-neglected intervention in mental health care. Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress.
This physiologic influence is probably mediated by the communication of the HPA axis with several regions of the brain, including the limbic system, which controls motivation and mood; the amygdala, which generates fear in response to stress; and the hippocampus, which plays an important part in memory formation as well as in mood and motivation.
Other hypotheses that have been proposed to explain the beneficial effects of physical activity on mental health include distraction, self-efficacy, and social interaction. While structured group programs can be effective for individuals with serious mental illness, lifestyle changes that focus on the accumulation and increase of moderate-intensity activity throughout the day may be the most appropriate for most patients.
- Interestingly, adherence to physical activity interventions in psychiatric patients appears to be comparable to that in the general population.
- Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.
- Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.
Exercise is especially important in patients with schizophrenia since these patients are already vulnerable to obesity and also because of the additional risk of weight gain associated with antipsychotic treatment, especially with the atypical antipsychotics.
Patients suffering from schizophrenia who participated in a 3-month physical conditioning program showed improvements in weight control and reported increased fitness levels, exercise tolerance, reduced blood pressure levels, increased perceived energy levels, and increased upper body and hand grip strength levels.
Thirty minutes of exercise of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking for 3 days a week, is sufficient for these health benefits. Moreover, these 30 minutes need not to be continuous; three 10-minute walks are believed to be as equally useful as one 30-minute walk.
- Improved sleep
- Increased interest in sex
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improvement in mood
- Increased energy and stamina
- Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
- Weight reduction
- Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness
Mental health service providers can thus provide effective, evidence-based physical activity interventions for individuals suffering from serious mental illness. Further studies should be done to understand the impact of combining such interventions with traditional mental health treatment including psychopharmacology and psychotherapy.
- Richardson CR, Faulkner G, and McDevitt J. et al. Integrating physical activity into mental health services for persons with serious mental illness, Psychiatr Serv,2005 56 :324–331.
- Callaghan P. Exercise: a neglected intervention in mental health care? J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs.2004; 11 :476–483.
- Guszkowska M. Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood Psychiatr Pol.2004; 38 :611–620.
- Peluso MA, Andrade LH. Physical activity and mental health: the association between exercise and mood. Clinics.2005; 60 :61–70.
- Fogarty M, Happell B, Pinikahana J. The benefits of an exercise program for people with schizophrenia: a pilot study. Psychiatr Rehabil J.2004; 28 :173–176.
: Exercise for Mental Health
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Do you think your physical fitness can impact your mental capabilities?
Manage Chronic Health Conditions & Disabilities – Regular physical activity can help people manage existing chronic conditions and disabilities. For example, regular physical activity can:
Reduce pain and improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis. Help control blood sugar levels and lower risk of heart disease and nerve damage for people with type 2 diabetes. Help support daily living activities and independence for people with disabilities. Also see:
Health Benefits Associated with Physical Activity for People with Chronic Conditions and Disabilities Key Recommendations for Adults with Chronic Conditions and Disabilities
How can physical activity help your mental health in this time of pandemic?
Importance of Physical Activity and Exercise during the COVID-19 Pandemic | Psychiatry | Michigan Medicine The benefits of physical activity and exercise have been demonstrated across the lifespan. We are meant to move and many of our body’s systems work better when we are consistently physically active.
For managing symptoms of depression, some research suggests that elevated levels of aerobic activity (exercise that significantly raises our heart rates) may be associated with greater reductions in depressive symptoms. Consider engaging in physical activity once or twice daily that includes brief periods (30-90 seconds) of greater intensity.
For some, this might be accomplished through exercise in their homes including jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and sequencing strength training exercises (i.e. standing squats, push-ups, sit-ups). For others, the use of home exercise equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes may be helpful.
Strength-training has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety for individuals with and without an anxiety disorder. Weightlifting using exercise equipment or household items (textbooks, canned goods, milk jugs filled with water, paint cans) may help us to reduce the negative effects of stress and anxiety.
For children and adolescents, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and exercise during the day are associated with elevations in self-esteem, improved concentration, reductions in depressive symptoms, and improvements in sleep. For older adults and among individuals managing chronic medical conditions, regular walks are recommended,
- The benefits of strength training and weightlifting (low weight with high numbers of repetitions) may be even greater in older adults to maintain quality of life and functioning.
- Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (such as speed-walking or jogging) has been shown to help reduce the use of alcohol and other substances.
Additionally, participation in regular physical activity is shown to boost the immune system. use is also associated with improvement in the body’s ability to fight off infection. Many companies are offering free use of their on-line platforms that may help to identify a variety of in-home activities (indoor cycling, treadmill running, dance cardio, yoga, strength training, and more) to help make exercise more enjoyable during this critical period.
- We strongly support the idea of ongoing vigilance regarding physical-distancing and limitations on in-person contacts as guided by the,
- We recommend finding physical activities that you enjoy and to share your experience with others.
- At the same time, there is also evidence to suggest that exercise can be helpful to mood even if the act of doing the exercise is not as enjoyable.
It is important for family members to take a supportive role in the promotion of physical activity and exercise. Allowing individuals to maintain their autonomy and choice in their activities will be important for ongoing engagement. We are all managing additional stress related to the growth of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential to threaten the health of ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Please consider using physical activity and exercise as a strategy to maintain health during this stressful period. Although many things feel beyond our control right now, we do have the ability to be creative and to build physical activity and exercise into each of our days. We may even look back on this difficult time as the turning point when we learned new ways to build our emotional resilience and our physical health.
: Importance of Physical Activity and Exercise during the COVID-19 Pandemic | Psychiatry | Michigan Medicine
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