Many people are suffering today because of the pandemic. A lot of individuals are having a hard time coping, especially in places that were severely affected. People lost their jobs and can’t leave their homes without the fear of getting infected by the virus.
All of these can put a toll on someone’s physical and mental health. However, there are things that you can do to avoid suffering from a mental crisis. One way to keep a healthy mind and body is through exercise.
How Exercise Helps Improve Mental Health
Many studies had shown that an increase in physical activity can boost an individual’s overall well-being. When you exercise, there is an increase in blood circulation particularly in the brain that may cause improvements in mood, motivation, memory, and reduce anxiety and stress.
If you are suffering from a mental crisis or know anyone who might be stressed and anxious due to the pandemic, here are some of the best exercises you can try at home to improve mental health.
1. Brisk Walking
Physical activity doesn’t have to be hard and complicated. It also doesn’t need any special equipment. A 30-minute walk can already do wonders for one’s physical and mental health. You can even do it from the comfort of your own home.
Walking in your yard or within your neighbourhood will do. Just be sure to practice safety protocols. Make walking a part of your daily routine and you will see an improvement in your mental well-being.
2. Jogging or Running
Another simple exercise you can try is jogging or running. Apart from both activities helping you get physically fit, they also have psychological benefits. These cardiovascular exercises can help you focus more, be more motivated, and determined. Running can also help create new brain cells.
3. Lifting Weights
If you have dumbbells lying around your home, you might as well use them during this pandemic. Lifting weights does not only tone your muscles and increase strength, but it can also boost mental function and confidence. However, before trying this at home be sure to start light and increase the weight gradually.
If you don’t have dumbbells, lifting bars or weight plates, you can be resourceful and use other things to lift. Some people use bottles filled with water as their dumbbells.
4. Biking or Cycling
Whether it is stationary biking or cycling around your area, it can help reduce anxiety and at the same time help you lose weight. It does not only improve blood circulation but also boost your lungs and heart health. Other benefits you can get from biking are reduced stress levels, improve brain function, build muscle strength, and reduce anxiety attacks.
This is one of the exercises that give a lot of benefits for mental health. Some people use boxing as a healthy way to release anger and tension. Instead of letting their anger overcome them, they go boxing to help make them feel better. Stress is also another cause of anxiety that may lead to a more serious health issue both physically and mentally.
The skills you learn from boxing also gives you a boost to your confidence and making you feel good about yourself. It also allows you to sleep better which is very important for better brain functioning.
6. Yoga and Meditation
This ancient form of exercise focuses on improving one’s flexibility, strength, and breathing which are important in boosting mental and physical well-being. Many use yoga to also clear their mind of worries and focus on inner peace. This is something that most people need, especially in this time of crisis.
The common practice after yoga is to meditate. Meditation improves concentration and helps connect the mind, body, and soul.
Aside from performing physical activities, other ways you can survive this pandemic is by finding a new hobby like gardening, baking, learning to cook, anything that will help keep your mind off of all the negativities around you. You can also try to reach out and connect with your friends and see how they are doing. Having someone to talk to, even virtually, may help you get some peace of mind.
Exercising truly has a lot of benefits not only physically but also mentally. During this trying time, we all need to keep our sanity and the easiest way to do that is by performing some physical activities.