"You're one workout away from a better mood" is more than just an inspirational quote or observation - in fact, that post-workout feel-good boost is backed by science! Shout out to our "happy hormone" friend, endorphins!
There's more great news when it comes to the connection between our minds and bodies! Movement can both help improve mental wellness and manage mental illness symptoms. In fact, studies show that exercise is an effective treatment method for a variety of mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and so more.
Read on to learn more about harnessing the power of movement for your mental health from the perspective of a Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor.
Types of Movement
When it comes to movement, the mind loves variety!
Why? Dr. Edythe Heus puts it perfectly: "Repeating the same exercise over and over even perfectly does not enhance the brain as optimally as if you were to include something unexpected, something novel."
Regularly shaking up your movement is a healthy way to stimulate your mind. The Fit Body Project offers a variety of class formats to help you keep it fresh!
In addition to keeping things exciting, different forms of movement can serve different mental health purposes.
For example, mind-body movement practices such as yoga and pilates have been scientifically proven to help people who have experienced trauma (PTSD) and anxiety. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, "Any aerobic activity, such as powerwalking to the grocery store, climbing a toboggan hill or doing jumping jacks in your basement pumps up endorphins and floods your brain with feel-good chemicals."
Self Care & Confidence
Making the time to exercise is to do something good for you; your mind, your body, your health. Planning and reaching your fitness goals will only build confidence in yourself that is sure to radiate goodness inside and out!
Moving with Intention
Though almost all forms of movement will benefit your mental health, there's a key difference between simply moving and moving with intention. The intention is key!
Mind muscle connection makes your movement worth it, and reduces rick of injury. Don't just go through the motions.
Mindfully connect with the action and use your breath to move with intention. Inhale to prepare, exhale on the contraction, that is the harder part of the movement. Try not to rush your movements but pace yourself with your breathing.
As social beings, a supportive social circle is an essential part of mental wellness. The fitness community is an amazing way to find that sense of belonging and positivity!
The Fit Body Project fosters an amazing kick-butt community of women so that they can feel safe and supported every step of the way in their fitness journeys. Each day, Team Fit Body members bond over their shared collective goal to find joy in movement and live life to the fullest! We are open about our struggles - whether they be with finding the ultimate smoothie recipe or mental lows - and are always there to cheer each other on through it all!
Interested in learning more about the mind-body connection? From May 11th to 15th 2021, FBP Founder & Yoga Instructor Andrea Sandhu will show you tools to nourish your mind and body through daily mindfulness practices. All you need to do is show up with an open mind and a willingness to be fully present! Join our FREE #MindfulMay challenge group here.
We want to hear from you - let's talk! Do you feel exercise impacts your mental health? How? What exercises nourish you inside & out? Share your experience in a comment below!