Exercise and Mental Health - VPA Australia

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Exercise and Mental Health

October 23, 2020 2 min read

Exercise and Mental Health

We all know exercise has numerous benefits for our physical health. There are plenty of literature and tips on physique, muscle, and strength building, as well as how it could even add years to your life. While these are great motivators for exercise, most fitness enthusiasts, and athletes also benefit from a sound mental health and great sense of well-being.

Inthebrain, exercise stimulates chemicals thatcanboostyourmood,improve sleep, and can alleviate many commonmental healthproblems likedepression, anxiety, and stress. You may be surprised how a simplelifestylechange from most of today’s usual sedentary routines can help you feel “unstuck."

Mental health benefits from exercise

  • Endorphins and serotonin are the chemicals this world could use more of. These chemicals produced by exercising can boost mood.  
  • Exercise can also get you out of your mind and reduce stress.
  • Exercise can also improve sleep.
  • Physical activity can reduce levels of anxiety and is great approach that can help support self-management.
  • Exercise can also increase our self-esteem.

How much physical activity or exercise should I be doing?

Physical activity is anything that gets the body moving. If you’re more or less sedentary throughout the day at work, you can be mindful about making small choices like opting to use the stairs instead of the elevator or simply making time for a quick workout to start or end your day. The key take way is that some physical activity is better than none. 

According to the World Health Organization, Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

There are multiple ways for accumulating at least 150 minutes of physical activity outside of the gym per week with simple activities like walking, gardening, household chores, hiking, cycling, and various sports. 

Our team got around to interview a couple of our VPA athletes who were eager to share their story on how they overcame the personal battles theywere going through. In a sea of amazing physical transformation stories, we found that highlighting how overcoming adversity  and issues especially mental health related,through exercise seemed so refreshing. In fact, it is something we ought to see more of.   

Watch our feature interviews here:

Rebecca Pateman: Fitness Passion & Mindset

Courtenay Brown: Post Natal Depression

Liam McDermott: Overcoming Anxiety

Kathleen Belleza

Kathleen Belleza is an Advertising major graduate from the Philippines and is the social media guru at VPA. She loves to write and create content. Convinced by her own research and writing, she is now working out too. (Thank god!)

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