Benefits of Exercise
Did the last post strike a chord with you? Was it about overall health and exercise? Today we’re going to just focus on the benefits of exercise. More and more studies are coming out pointing towards the total integration of the body and connection between physical health, mental health, and emotional well-being. If we can have a positive effect on one of those components, usually there’s a translation somewhere down the line to the other areas of our lives. It just so happens, that for most of us, the easiest and most accessible way to influence our well-being is through physical health. It’s not easy to will yourself to feel less anxious or less depressed, but it’s much simpler to say “I’m going to go for a walk in the park today.”
Through building good habits, we’re going to build success and if you’ve followed us for any length of time, you know what we believe about success: Success breeds success! We’re all about building positive, healthy momentum so that you can live a well-rounded and well-balanced lifestyle that represents your optimal state of health.
Building Momentum Towards Achieving Physical Health
- Aerobic Exercise – which includes gardening, did you know that? — has been proven to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression as well as increase blood flow to the brain. As a result of exercise and blood flow, different regions of the brain increase in certain activity levels including the limbic system (influences motivation and mood), the amygdala (responds to fear and stress), and the hippocampus (affects mood, motivation, and memory). Who doesn’t want to improve all of those things?
- Community Integration – On some level, exercise typically involves more community integration, which means a reduction in isolationism. Being isolated is one of the key factors for the duration and intensity of serious mental illness as well as suicide. Getting outside, going to a gym, breaking up the routine of sedentary lifestyle (which has a whole slew of other negative results in physical health), allows for our minds to be distracted by something different, which can be a really good thing. The ability to distract ourselves when we really need a break from the gears turning upstairs can help us to refocus and re-evaluate later on to make good decisions. By the way, being outside also means enacting photoreceptors in your body, which responds positively to sunlight, and increasing your daily intake of Vitamin D, which is shown to help increase your mood and reduce depression. Sounding good yet?
- Increased Interest in Sex – Weight reduction, improved blood pressure, cardiovascular fitness, stress relief, improved sleep, better energy levels, and overall endurance can affect this one too. Exercise is also shown to improve self-esteem and self-confidence in a variety of ways. We all know that those things also equal more opportunities for arousal and intimacy. That can also mean an overall improved relationship with your spouse. Exercise is a powerful thing. I bet we have your attention now.
Not sure where to start? Studies show that an exercise program for individuals with schizophrenia that focuses on 30-minutes of moderate activity three days a week is enough. Does 30 minutes sound too hard? It’s OK to break it up. You can do 3 x 10 minute walks and get the same overall mental health affects as a 30 minute, continuous walk. Take one flight of stairs over the elevator. Park further away and walk across the parking lot. Cold outside? Do a few laps in the mall. There’s opportunities to out there for better health and they all start with one step in the right direction.
Lastly, the PTI is committed to meeting you where you’re at. It’s not about demands and obligations, pills and prescriptions. It’s about a kind, caring, and supportive environment. It’s about dealing with professionals who care about their job and who care about you more than just earning a paycheck. Our goal is to be the best because we believe that the good people of Louisiana deserve the best bar none! If you or a loved one is struggling, give us a call today and let us go to bat for you!