Studies have verified that mild physical activity on a regular basis, at least 5 times in a week, helps to improve physical and mental health. Physical activity directly affects the brain and increases proper blood circulation to the body along with numerous other benefits which keep us mentally fit.
Exercise encourages the body to produce chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins. Endorphins are the powerful chemicals that energize your mood, make you feel good, help to relax the muscles pain, and reduce stress. Enkephalins are also one of the strong chemicals which help to slow down the painful sensations of the muscles.
Here are some fitness tips to support physical and mental health
Yoga - The gentle movements of yoga can be very simple, yet powerful if they are done in the right and systematic manner. They help to improve alertness and concentration power while delivering fresh oxygenated blood to the brain which helps to manage stress, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
Regular performance of the “Surya Namaskar” brings positive results for the physical as well as mental well-being. It helps to improve the functions of the nervous system, corrects difficulties in sleeping patterns, enhances memory and regulates metabolism. Additionally, it keeps your blood sugar in a normal range, boosts blood circulation, regulates the menstrual cycle, smoothens digestive system and also prevents wrinkles or early aging.
Meditation - The practice of meditation requires us to be focused to a specific thought, on a particular object or on our breathing to learn awareness and attention. It helps to keep our mind calm, feel relaxed, improve enthusiasm, and self-confidence. It also helps to reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and stress levels.
Cardio/ Aerobic exercise - In modern studies, it is shown that “high-intensity aerobics” or any kind of cardio exercise such as cycling, swimming, brisk walking, running and jogging help to improve self-esteem, cognitive functions and blood flow to the brain. These exercises support to release powerful chemicals serotonin and endorphins which improve the frame of mind by reducing the stress levels, anxiety, depression, and self-negativity.
Gymming - Like cardio exercise or any other long-term physical activity, gym exercises also play a huge role in supporting mental health. They help increase the heart rate while doing exercises which pumps more oxygen and blood to the brain. They also encourage the production of some elements that improve mood and increase the size of the hippocampus which is a part of the brain that responds to think more clearly, learn better, and sharpen the memory.
Playing indoor and outdoor games - Playing games on the ground is the best way to keep our mind fresh and healthy. However, being busy and due to scarcity of open spaces, it is hardly possible to play freely on the ground. So, whenever it is not possible to play outside, try to play indoor brain-challenging games like completing puzzles, sudokus, playing chess, business, monopoly, or other fun activities that challenge the brain. They help to stimulate the mind and boost memory, imagination and visual power.
Dancing, singing, cooking, painting, and many other activities as per your preference can be pursued to release stress and feel energetic.
Engage in new learning through online courses - Somehow, we are blessed with the new technologies, but only if we use it positively. During this pandemic, when we are restricted indoors with a lot of uncertainties and mental pressure regarding future, finance, kids’ education etc, we need to feel the positive vibes around us. There are so many great opportunities to grab from social media or online sites. Experts are providing numerous sessions online which are related to workout, cooking, crafts, education and so on. This precious time has given you the best option to reboot yourself with your beloved hobbies. Acquire new knowledge, skills or polish your old hobbies as they will keep your mind positively engaged and healthy.
Fitness with Balanced diet
All fitness activities can go for a toss if you don’t support your physical activities with the right intake of food. The balance between healthy body and mind cannot be established without a balanced diet. Many studies prove that whatever we eat directly affects our physical and mental health. A well-balanced diet should be rich in all food groups such as cereals, pulses, beans, eggs, healthy non-veg items, milk or its products, fruits, vegetables, healthy oil, nuts and seeds. They contain high-quality protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that positively nourish the brain. The ideal ratio should be at least 20-30% of exercise and 70-80% of diet to support mental health.