As the pandemic continues, the rates of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression steadily continue to climb. During times of quarantine, while working virtually, or when managing a new schedule, it is easy to forget about adding movement to your day. Sedentary activities like watching tv, video gaming and computer work are dominating our current society while mental health is on the decline. One approach to lowering bouts of anxiety and depression, improving mood, and gaining an abundance of health benefits is by adding a few minutes of physical activity to your daily routine.
You don’t have to be a personal trainer to get your recommended daily amount of exercise. By adding a lifestyle modification such as physical activity, those struggling with their mental health may control or enhance their mood. Specifically, aerobic exercises are known to reduce anxiety and depression. An aerobic exercise is any exercise that requires oxygen, therefore, breathing is most important during aerobic exercise as it allows the passage of oxygen to muscles (especially the heart). Some common aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, dancing, walking, and gardening are characterized as “cardio”. Anything that increases the heart rate qualifies as good mood-altering movement.
Physical activity is responsible for improving cardiovascular health, stress relief, and for creating substantial improvements to both health and mood. The following is a list of benefits related to physical activity, health, and mood:
- Improves sleep, memory, and mood
- Improves cognitive health
- Increases blood circulation to the brain
- Improves self-esteem
- Increases energy and stamina
- Weight reduction
- Cholesterol reduction
Continue reading to learn more about physical activity recommendations and examples here:
This article is written by Tramayne Richardson, Area Nutrition Agent, East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes. This article is referenced by LSU AgCenter, Center for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health, and Boston College Cooperative Extension Service.