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Stay Active, Stay Happy: Simple Ways to Keep Going

Staying active isn’t just good for your physical health, it also has a positive impact on your mental health. In addition to increasing blood and oxygen flow throughout your body for improved brain health, staying active also produces hormones called endorphins. Endorphins are known as happy chemicals that boost mood levels. Take a look at what you need to know about physical exercise and how it can positively impact your mental health.

How Does a Physically Active Body Relate To Your Mental Health?

There are countless benefits to being physically active for your mental health. Before you even start, being physically active in whatever you choose is a good distraction from strains or stresses on your mental health. It can give you a break from the norm and help to redirect your thoughts.

If you’re under a lot of stress or tension, exercise is a great way to gain relief. When you’re feeling under pressure for any reason, it’s important to find a healthy form of escapism so you can tackle everyday problems with clarity. Staying active also helps to fight mental fatigue.

Do you find yourself often feeling drained? Many people think that exercising requires more energy, when in reality, exercising actually gives the body an energy boost. You have to use energy to get energy. In turn, this can also help you to avoid feelings of anger and frustration.

If you set goals while you’re staying active, you can also gain a sense of achievement. When you’re successful in your exercise goals, it can spur you on to do more. This helps with building concentration, focus, and determination; skills we all need to keep going in life.

Exercising several times a week will also ensure you have a healthy appetite so your body and mind stay strong. The most important goal for any type of exercise is to have fun so you always come away feeling positive.

Realistic Ways To Get Moving

As mentioned above, exercise should be fun, and that’s always a good place to start. If you view exercise as goal-oriented or a punishment, it’s important to start thinking about it in a different way. There are many different types of exercises, and not all of them will suit everyone.

Perhaps you’re someone who enjoys being around others, which makes joining a gym or a class a well-suited option. However, you could be someone who prefers to exercise alone or in smaller groups. You may enjoy a jog, a hike, or just taking your dog for a walk everyday. 

To get started, start small and work your way up. Think about the types of exercise you’d like to try and have a go. Although it’s better to be around other people or outdoors, it can also be beneficial to do exercise at home if that’s where you want to start. 

Try doing something active three times a week, then gradually work your way to doing some form of exercise every day.

Help Get Yourself Motivated

Getting motivated to exercise isn’t always easy. If your mental health sometimes stops you from doing things, you may find it difficult to get up and exercise when you should. It’s important to remember that exercise can be anything you want it to be.

You don’t have to head to the gym if you’d prefer to go surfing. You don’t have to do a 5k run if you’d prefer to go to a boxing class. Finding something you’re passionate about will be half the battle when you really don’t feel like staying active.

It can also help to reward yourself when you’ve done something active. Making a healthy choice and motivating yourself to do something good when you don’t feel like it should be recognized. 

Set Goals

Setting goals is a great way to continue moving forward with staying active. Your goals should be geared towards improving your physical and mental health while also aiming for personal bests. Encouraging yourself to reach these goals will give you something to focus on outside of mental health struggles.

When you do meet your goals, it can instill a sense of achievement that you can be proud of. The feeling of achieving your goals is ideal for creating positive emotions that can replace negative ones. If you’re unsure of how to set goals for staying active, it’s worth talking with a fitness advisor at your local gym or a medical professional.

Invite a Friend To Join

Staying active can be enjoyable when you do it with friends. Invite a friend that you trust to join you when you exercise. You’ll be able to motivate each other as you stay active and encourage one another to meet your exercise goals.

It can be much easier to get up and stay active when you do it with someone else. Take it in turns to choose what type of exercise you try next. In addition to exercising together, it’s also an ideal opportunity to talk and share experiences.

Talking as you exercise is a great way to get things off your chest, which makes a trusted friend a great choice for a workout buddy. If you decide to join a class together, you can make new friends too.

Keep Going

On days where your mental health is lower than normal, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is staying active. However, it’s often one of the few things that can break a negative mental health cycle. By simply walking for twenty minutes a day, you can vastly improve the way you feel and think. When you return from a walk, you may find that you feel invigorated and refreshed than before.

It’s essential to keep momentum when you start staying active for your mental health. If you feel you need support from specialists, Jackson House is here to provide the expertise and the community to empower anyone struggling with their mental health. Contact our dedicated team to discuss one of our programs today.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

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We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.