Morning Exercises to Improve Mental Health
Mental Health is a topic that often garners much less attention than physical health. This is unfortunate, as mental health problems can be just as debilitating and costly to a person’s quality of life. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to help improve your mental health without taking pharmaceutical medications or undergoing formal therapy.
These simple morning exercises have been proven to improve brain health, help increase mental clarity, and reduce stress. Before we tackle the types of morning exercises, let us first discuss how regular exercise improves one’s mental health.
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How regular exercise improves mental health
Many people are familiar with the benefits of regular exercise for physical health. However, few realize that the same principles also apply to mental well-being. Regular exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health, including improvements in mood, sleep patterns, and self-esteem.
Additionally, regular physical activity can help you avoid depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues by strengthening your brain and lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels.
An active lifestyle that includes daily workouts at the gym is good, but consistency is key to benefiting one’s mental well-being. Performing aerobic exercises for as little as 10-15 minutes regularly every day can greatly impact your brain health and boost your mood and memory abilities.
It’s best to do a combination of cardio, strength training, and flexibility training to maximize your efforts, but getting your body moving regularly can be sufficient to improve your mental health.
The good news is that you don’t have to get a gym membership or purchase expensive equipment. Moreover, you don’t need to work out all day to reap the rewards! Even 10-15 minutes of physical activity in the morning benefits your well-being significantly.
With that said, here are a few morning exercises you can try to improve mental health.
1. Breathing Exercises
Starting your day with morning breathing practice can help bring awareness, refresh your nervous system, and prepare it for the day. Practicing this exercise can also enhance your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being and set your morning right. There’s a reason why meditation always includes breathing exercises.
To do the deep breaths exercise, relax your abdominal muscles, inhale deeply through your nose, hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale through your mouth. Do this a few times until you feel your body relax.
Jogging is an excellent exercise for your physical and mental well-being. A jog around the neighborhood or at the park early in the morning can also expose you to fresh air and nature’s beauty, generating positive emotions such as joy, calmness, and creativity. Furthermore, it can help improve your cardiovascular fitness and boost immunity.
After a week of jogging, you can try increasing the time you spend jogging for maximum benefits. A change in your route from time to time will also allow you to look forward to your jog as you’ll explore and cover more areas that might be new to you. Try jogging nearby churches or memorial parks, as they have lots of greenery and scenic views. Many people conduct morning exercises in memorial parks as it has a massive space people can run, walk or cycle through.
Cycling can be an excellent morning workout. Like jogging, it can expose you to nature’s healing, allowing you to travel around and appreciate the beauty of the world surrounding you. Moreover, it can also help you maintain and improve your physical fitness. Other benefits of cycling include increased cardiovascular fitness, joint mobility, and others.
Feeling the wind whooshing past your face and your hair is an extraordinary feeling you’ll enjoy with this exercise. Remember to stay safe when performing this exercise. Always check your tire condition and brakes before going on to your daily cycling. Invest in protective equipment such as a breathable cycling helmet and knee guards if you can.
If you’re not into jogging or cycling, you can add a morning walk to your morning routine. This can help you relax while giving your body and your lungs a good workout. And it’s easy to implement. All you need are some comfortable footwear and a watch (totally optional but highly recommended) to time your walk. A few minutes of walking a day can do wonders to your physical health and mental well being.
With the calmness you get with walking, surely some of your stress will wash away. You can also invite a friend to walk with you and catch up with them while walking.
Are you into dancing? If so, then this morning workout is for you. Dancing allows you to let loose and express yourself, making you feel good in the process. The good news is that there are so many easy to follow dance routines for beginners online, you can log into your YouTube account, search for a dance you’re interested in and groove the minutes away. As a plus, dancing can also help you lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health.
If you’re feeling spontaneous, go and play any music of your choice and begin dancing to the beat. Invest some of your free time in curating the perfect playlist that makes you want to dance.
To all plantitas and plantitos, this is for you! Gardening might not seem like a morning exercise, but it actually is. It requires one to dig, carry things around, squat, and do other things that’s a lot similar to what you’re doing when you’re exercising.
Gardening can help you burn those extra calories, improve muscle strength, and is very therapeutic. There is something special about being in close contact with the earth, which is why gardening is an excellent exercise for both your body and your mental health.
You might have already heard that yoga benefits your mental health, and it’s true! The practice incorporates two remarkable things for improving one’s mental well-being: meditation and breathing. Combine that with the yoga stretches and poses; you get a fantastic workout that can be done almost anywhere. You can start by browsing through the many YouTube tutorial videos on practicing yoga for beginners.
Improving your mental health is as important as your physical health. In this time of numerous distractions and fast-paced living, it’s essential to care for your mind. Add any of these morning exercises to your morning routines today for better mental well-being and happier life.
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