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The Best Exercises For Improved Mental Health

5 Training Methods That Aid Wellbeing

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Mental health is a very important and sensitive topic and a lot of work continues to be done to help people improve their mental wellbeing. Something that can certainly help and has proven to be beneficial for millions of people has been to take part in some form of exercise on a regular basis. As well as the known benefits such as weight loss and lean muscle growth, regular exercise has a positive effect on the body when it comes to mood and mental wellbeing.

Here is a list of training methods that you can try and find something that’s right for you.

1. Running

Whether you prefer to run indoors or outside it is a great choice of exercise that aids mental wellbeing. Runners experience something known as “runners high” after their run, which is described as increased clarity and reduced stress, possibly due to a flood of endorphins released during the exercise. If you’re not a keen runner or cannot due to injury or restricted movement, then walking or cycling are popular alternatives and also known to have similar benefits.

2. Boxing / MMA

Combat sports might seem brutal but for those looking at it as a form of exercise it is proven to help release stress and anger and a great outlet for aggression that can be both empowering and healing. Whether new to regular exercise or a seasoned trainer, this form of access is readily accessible to all levels. Short, intense rounds of punching with short rest periods, result in an intense interval session, which releases endorphins. Although boxing and MMA are the more popular combat sports you can choose from other popular sports including judo, karate, jiu jitsu, taekwondo and krav maga.

3. Football

The beautiful game as it is known, is a great way to help clear your mind from distractions as you alter your focus. Football is a very beneficial method of exercise as it involves the right mix of cardio, technique and contact. The health benefits include endorphin release and an ability to re-focus your mind and socialise as you work within a team. As a result, social football is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. If you don’t happen to be a fan of football, then rugby has the same benefits as a contact sport.

4. Yoga

Yoga not only provides a number of physical benefits as experienced in exercise, but it is also a natural anti-depressant remedy that can help ease anxiety and boost mental health. This is achieved through a self-awareness aspect. This is further backed by a study in the Daily Mail, stating that according to one of the largest studies to investigate the links between exercise and mental health disorders, over 50% of sufferers with depression saw their symptoms improve with weekly yoga classes. Pilates is a popular alternative for those not keen on yoga.

5. Weight training

As well as being a popular choice of exercise, weight training is well documented to help sufferers of anxiety and depression as well as other mental health problems. A paper published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers analysed the results of 33 experiments on weight training and depression. Weight training was linked across the board to improvements in depressive symptoms such as low mood, a loss of interest in activities, and feelings of worthlessness. While there’s no "cure", lifting weights consistently reduced the symptoms of depression.

If you don’t find anything on the list that you like the sound of or have previously tried all of them but to no avail, then just remember that are many other options available to you and as long as you find something that you’re happy to do and it puts your mind in a positive and happy place whilst exercising then you’re on the right track towards a better mental wellbeing.

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