Great Exercises for Boosting Mental Wellness

Contributed by: Jane Sandwood

Your body and your mind are closely linked, and finding harmony between the two is essential to one’s overall wellbeing and personal fitness. We all know the many benefits of exercising and can oftentimes see and feel the results on our bodies. Yet, research by Connecticut’s public health commission determined that only half of adults over the age of 18 reach the suggested amount of healthy exercise per week (150 minutes or more). This statistic suggests that many of us should add regular workouts to our weekly routine, which will make us more energized and confident to take on any obstacle.

If you are searching for exercises that will be both beneficial for your physical health and your mental wellness, look no further. Here are several exercises that can boost your overall positivity and outlook on life while simultaneously working to get your body in shape. Before long, your mind, body, and spirit will all be operating in coordination, leaving you feeling refreshed and happy.

  1. Yoga

While this may seem like an obvious choice, yoga incorporates the perfect balance of mind and body harmony with a special focus on mental wellness and positivity. Every yoga exercise emphasizes the importance of deep breathing and meditation. In a world where meditation has gone mainstream, it only makes sense to test out how this exercise can lead to positive changes in your body and mind.

Studies have shown that practicing yoga for just 12 minutes per day can decrease one’s immune system’s inflammation response by a great amount. Yoga helps you get in touch with yourself, connecting your breathing with your brain and establishing a powerful mind-body connection that will make you feel focused and soothed.

  1. Cycling

In addition to yoga, another trend in the exercise world is cycling and spin classes. Since cycling is a repetitive exercise, it allows the mind plenty of time to contemplate other things and relax. Cycling allows people to focus on their energy, breathing, and pushing their limits. It is known as a “lifestyle sport,” meaning that it is a casual activity which focuses on improving one’s mood, as opposed to an exercise that’s competitive. Plus, cycling outdoors can be a great way to interact with nature, which is an ideal setting for unwinding and de-stressing. Setting goals for yourself on your bicycle or exploring a new trail with friends can quickly jumpstart your mental wellness, allowing you to feel physically fit and also mentally free.

  1. Dance

The third exercise that is beneficial to the harmony between your body and mind is dancing. Dancing is oftentimes associated with happiness, as people who dance in public are usually having fun and smiling. Studies in dancing have shown that the activity has been found to be therapeutic, improving physical strength and flexibility, as well as cognitive performance.  Taking a dance class or going out for a night of dancing are both ways to relieve stress and express yourself. Many traditional dancing styles also focus on posture, which can lead to a boost in self-confidence.

By participating in any of these exercises on a regular basis, your mind will be more cleared of any negatives or stressors and can operate to its fullest cognitive potential, which will do wonders for your health over the span of your life.