Regular exercise is beneficial to our physical health but is also of significant benefit to our mental-emotional well-being. Twenty percent of Canadians will personally experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. When we talk about mental-emotional health issues in general many of us don’t consider feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or depressed as mental-emotional issues. We are fast to downplay such conditions as being part of life but this is equivalent to ignoring a sinus infection, the flu, chest pain or running a fever. Most of us have learnt appropriate treatments or strategies to deal with basic physical health issues and have a reasonable awareness of our physical health status. We tend to more easily ignore our mental-emotional health….until we experience a mental-emotional crisis. Even in mental health, prevention is better than cure. It is equally critical to invest in your physical and your mental-emotional health. The good news is that there are ways to look after both concurrently:
- Getting sufficient, good quality sleep
- Knowing your limits (physically in term of weights you lift: knowing when to take breaks: gradually becoming more active and inactivity while mentally-emotionally it is about knowing and avoiding sources of stress, being strategic about the business of your schedule: finding work-play balance)
- Eating well, supports your physical systems as well as your brain function
By exercising for any length of time and with any form of movement, you will likely feel better, think more clearly, and improve your mood and outlook on life around you.
According to the Canadian Society for Exercise, to achieve health benefits, adults aged 18-64 years should:
- Accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
- It is also beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least 2 days per week.
Invest in your total health: mentally, physically, emotionally.