How The Effects Of Physical Activity Benefit Your Mental Wellbeing

02.07.19 01:48 PM

All physical activity and exercise are good for us. We know being active improves our strength and gives us a healthy heart, joints and bones. But the benefits don’t stop at the physical advantages. Even 10 minutes of exercise increases our energy and mental alertness. 

Physical activity has the potential to enhance and improve your wellbeing too, including: 

  • A sense of feeling good about yourself 
  • The ability to deal with life’s ups and downs 
  • Having control over your life 
  • Having a sense of purpose and value 

While regular physical activity can increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety, it can also play a role in preventing the development of more serious mental health issues, as well as improving the quality of life of people already experiencing them.

Moods and Stress

Taking part in low-intensity aerobic exercise can increase a more positive mood in people. With the effects having a big impact, it helps keep us calmer, more content, and more awake - especially when compared to after periods of inactivity.

Certain events can unsettle or upset our body’s balance. When this happens, symptoms including sweating, loss of appetite, or sleeping problems are triggered by a rush of stress hormones. But research has found that highly active adults tend to have lower stress rates compared to individuals who are less active.

Self-esteem, Depression, and Anxiety

Another key indicator of our mental wellbeing is a lack of self-esteem and confidence that can lead to periods of depression or anxiety. But while physical activity can have a positive influence on self-esteem on all types of people, and it can also be an alternative treatment for depression. 

Used on its own or in combination with medication and/or therapy, it doesn’t have the stigma that’s often associated with taking antidepressants - and exercise has few side effects.  

Dementia and Cognitive Decline 

Improvements in healthcare have led to an increased life expectancy and population of people over 65. With this increase comes a growing number of people living with dementia and people with cognitive decline. 

While there could be a 20-30% lower risk of dementia for adults taking daily exercise, it can also reduce the likelihood of experiencing cognitive decline in people who don’t have dementia too. And for people living with the condition, physical activity can help to delay further decline. 

Next steps 

Physical activity and regular exercise are available to everyone and are an empowering approach that can support self-management. And by doing at least 30 minutes of exercise, 3-5 days a week, you’ll keep your mind and body healthy.

If you’re looking for something different, AquaPhysical has created FloatFit BALANCE - a low impact, group exercise class on water, designed for all ages and abilities. Combining breathing and movement to strengthen body and mind - and challenge balance - you’ll improve your wellbeing in just 30 minutes. 

Find out more about FloatFit BALANCE or take the next step and find your nearest class today.