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Exercise + Mental Health Q+A


Article by Don Chenevert

Photography by Don Chenevert

This Q+A is sponsored by Better You Personal Training

What impact does exercise have on mental health, you might ask?

This year more so than any other year exercise benefits our mental health. With Covid 19 most people have been stuck at home most of the year. Binge watching their favorite Netflix shows and snacking all day long. Snacking comes from boredom; I call it the Covid 20 for weight gain. Regular exercise as little as 20-30 minutes a day can have a positive impact on anxiety, and depression. And you don't have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. No matter your fitness level or age, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with all types of mental health problems.

What are some mental health benefits from exercise?

As little as 20-30 minutes of exercise a day will have a great benefit on your mental health. such as reduced stress, sharper memory and thinking, better sleep, ward off anxiety and depression, and will even boost your immune system. Immune system boost is key for 2020 as a better immune system can prevent and fight off sickness much easier than a compressed immune system. That is why exercise should be part of your lifestyle and not just a chore to check off your to do list for the day.

Does exercise have any other added benefits?

Absolutely examples of add health benefits would be it strengthens your heart, it lowers blood pressure, it strengthens and builds bones, increases energy levels and improves muscle tone and strength.

What are some easy exercises to get started on a journey to improve mental health?

Walking, gardening, housework such as sweeping, mopping and vacuuming, jogging, swimming, biking, yoga, golf walk not riding a cart, are all good examples of basic exercises just to get moving. If you don't have a 20-30 minute block of time to dedicate to exercises such going for a walk or riding a bike, don't worry. Think about exercise as a lifestyle rather than just a single task to check off your daily to do list. Look at your daily routine and consider ways to sneak in activity as little as 5 minutes here, there, and everywhere.