Move Your Way To Wellness: The Emotional Benefits of Physical Activity

Move Your Way To Wellness: The Emotional Benefits of Physical Activity

Moving your body through physical activity is a healthy way to nurture your wellness. Daily participation in physical activity will improve your mood and overall emotional well-being.

Below are 6 wellness benefits of physical activity.

  • Reduced Risk of Depression: Engaging in regular physical activity has been linked to a lower risk of developing depression.

  • Reduced Depressed Mood: Physical activity can help alleviate feelings of sadness and low mood, promoting a more positive emotional state.

  • Reduced Short-term Anxiety: Exercise can lead to immediate reductions in feelings of anxiety, providing a quick relief from anxious thoughts.

  • Reduced Long-term Anxiety: Both individuals with and without anxiety disorders can experience long-term reductions in anxiety symptoms through regular physical activity.

  • Improved Sleep Outcomes: Engaging in exercise improves sleep quality, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  • Enhanced Sleep during Acute Episodes: Physical activity during acute episodes of anxiety or stress can improve sleep outcomes as the duration of the episode decreases.

Be sure to choose a physical activity that is fun, matches your current fitness level and personal preferences. Here are 9 options:

  1. Walking: A simple and effective way to start getting active. You can walk outdoors, on a treadmill, or even at a local park. (Every morning after my weight training, my husband and I walk 3-5 miles in our neighborhood or at the beach.)

  2. Yoga: Focuses on flexibility, balance, and relaxation. There are various types of yoga, from gentle to more vigorous practices.

  3. Bodyweight Exercises: These include push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and more. They can be done at home and gradually intensified as you get stronger.

  4. Dancing: Dance classes or simply dancing to your favorite music can be a fun way to stay active.

  5. Group Fitness Classes: Many gyms offer beginner-friendly classes like Zumba, aerobics, or circuit training. (My 78 year-old mom loves Zumba.)

  6. Tai Chi: A slow and flowing form of exercise that focuses on balance, coordination, and relaxation.

  7. Low-Impact Aerobics: These classes are designed to minimize stress on joints while still providing a good cardiovascular workout.

  8. Stretching: Incorporate regular stretching routines to improve flexibility and prevent injury. (Every morning my husband starts his day with gentle stretches.)

  9. Resistance Training: Start with light weights or resistance bands to build strength gradually. (Every morning I start my day with weight training.)

Remember to start gradually and listen to your body. Don't forget to warm up before any activity and cool down afterward. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns, consult with your doctor before starting. The key is to find activities you enjoy so that you're more likely to stick with them in the long run.

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1 comment

I like the list, and I’m starting out with one and will be checking them off as I go. I’m hoping to get through them all.

Jacqueline Williams

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