08 Feb Want to Improve Your Quality of Life & Mental Health? Try This!
By: Haley Lowe, PTA
One in five adults lives with a mental illness; but even beyond that, there are many different aspects of life that can take a toll on our mental health. Job stress, family stress, financial stress, chronic illness… many of us juggle things from week-to-week and month-to-month, and it can wear you down. The good news is that there are many ways you can help improve your mental health and one major way is through physical activity. Research shows more and more the overall benefits that physical activity can have on mental illness and mental health. We all deal with something on a day-to-day basis, so finding ways to improve our mental health is important.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the different terms that are thrown around when it comes to “being active,” whether its “exercise,” “working out,” or “physical activity.” What’s most important is moving our bodies. If you’ve been to Body One Physical Therapy for an any reason, you’ve probably heard one of us say that you should “move a little bit, often” or “motion is lotion for the body.” These things can be true outside of PT as well. Moving our bodies for a minimum of 30 mins a day, 3-5 days a week can reap many benefits, some of them including:
- Releasing feel-good endorphins and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being, and decrease anxious or worried thoughts that can feed into depression and anxiety.
- Improve confidence and self-esteem
- Increase energy levels and improve sleep at night
- Increase social interaction by finding community ways to move your body whether that’s at a gym, walking group, etc.
- Improve healthy coping
These are just a few of the mental benefits from moving our bodies intentionally throughout the week. The biggest thing to remember is that you don’t have to move your body by hitting the gym or going on a run; movement can look different on a day-to-day basis, depending on what you enjoy doing or feel like doing that day. Some ideas for movement include:
- Yard work on a warm day
- Walking – whether outside, at an indoor track, at the mall, etc.
- Group fitness classes, i.e.: any class at a local gym, F45, Orange Theory, Pilates, etc.
- At-home workouts via an app or YouTube
- Cleaning your house
- Taking stairs instead of elevators or escalators
- Parking in the back of the parking lot at stores or where you work
The list of ways to move could be endless, but the most important thing at the end of the day is to find a way to move your body that you enjoy and is sustainable for your life. If you don’t like moving on your own, then find a friend and get moving! If you aren’t active because of an old injury, pain, or movement problem, come see us at Body One. We work with patients of all ages and activity levels and we’re ready to help get you moving in the right direction – and feeling great.
Body One is locally owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Meridian, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of expert physical therapists and physical therapy assistants works hard every day helping people reach their goals and return to doing what they love. If you’re ready to take charge of your health and wellness, call or click today!