Author: Deanna Davidson

The Benefits Of Sport On Mental Health

Exercise helps you gain muscle, improve cardiovascular health, and, of course, contribute to your overall physique. But did you know that training is just as good for the brain? Playing sports regularly has psychological benefits and plays an essential role in your overall well-being.

What Is The Relationship Between Physical Exercise And Mental Health?

We are living in especially stressful times. Fires, floods, droughts, pandemics… it is more than enough to keep you awake. Did you know that physical exercise is an effective strategy to relieve anxiety naturally? You can play sports to reduce stress, sleep better, and improve cognitive function. Is that how it works.

Sport To Relieve Anxiety Naturally

Depression and anxiety are probably the best-known mental illnesses and the ones that affect the most people. To define what depression is, it is easier to start with what it is not. It is not just about “being sad.” It is a debilitating disease that can have major consequences in the lives of those who suffer from it. And it is important to note that sport and mental health are connected. 

Four chemicals impact happiness: serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Any imbalance can lead to serious consequences. So to overcome depression, you have to correct this imbalance. Medication prescribed by medical personnel is one of the ways to overcome it (although it often has side effects). Still, the good news is that something as simple as playing sports can help endorphin production. This is the chemical change in the brain that will increase your sense of well-being and be achieved with just 15 minutes of exercise.

Sport To Reduce Stress

Stress is the body’s reaction to a threatening situation. Over time, the body learns to deal with stress in different ways, some not very healthy, such as sleeping too little, eating too much sugar, etc. Exercise can help you readjust your body to new stress-relieving techniques. 

In other words, as your body learns to deal with the stress of a workout, it can use these same methods for other stressful life situations.

According to the American Psychological Association, 62% of adults who exercise or walk for stress relief consider it very or extremely effective.

Physical Exercise To Improve Sleep Quality

Are you one of these people who has a hard time falling asleep? Exercising is one of the most natural remedies for good sleep. We have evidence that exercise does help to fall asleep or fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep.

Physical exercise helps improve slow-wave sleep, in other words, sleep that helps the brain to retrieve and build memories of the day’s activities.

Plan workouts according to your body:

Not everyone has to get up before the sun rises to train. If training in the afternoon is more comfortable for you, do it. You just have to pay attention to the rhythm of your body and give it enough time to recover before going to bed.

 

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Exercise To Improve Cognitive Function

As we age, the body and mind begin to deteriorate – it is simply getting older. Still, there are some things we can do to protect cognitive function and keep the brain young into old age. In addition to eating a healthy diet, good sleep habits, and avoiding substances such as tobacco or alcohol, exercise plays an essential role in keeping the brain young. The interesting thing is to think about how different types of physical activity affect our cognitive function.

Exercise is a decisive factor in improving or maintaining mental health, but there is something else you can do: eat in a balanced way. Recent research suggests that eating a healthy diet can have a significant impact on mental health and well-being.

Practical Tips For Creating A Training Plan

There are several principles that a workout must follow to help you achieve your goals. You can increase the effectiveness of your sessions with these tips:

Training should be challenging without exceeding your limits. Each training session should push you to the limit but not exceed it. If the intensity of the exercises is too low, you will not see results. But if the stimulus is too high, it can be harmful to the body. If you want to improve your performance, the training load must be adjusted to your current physical condition.

Think long-term

Progress is not visible overnight. Muscles are not the only part of the body that has to get used to regular exercise. Other body systems also need time to adjust to increased physical activity. Be patient!

Be demanding

In order to see the results of your training, you have to keep challenging your body. This doesn’t always mean doing more reps; you can add more weight, do one more round, or just focus on your training and be mindful of the movements. Connecting the mind with the muscles can make a difference.

Listen to your body.

The more personalized your plan is, the better. Don’t go overboard, and remember that no one knows you better than you. Does your resting heart rate increase significantly just when you wake up in the morning? Are you not at all hungry and feel without energy or motivation? Heart rate hardly slows down during breaks between exercises? These points can be a sign that you are training too much and need a day off. So pay attention and don’t ignore the body’s signals. A training plan is not fixed; it can be modified and adapted to your condition. Don’t be frustrated if you have to take it easy now and then. Next time you will get a little further.

Set realistic goals

Without goals, there is no achievable success – clear goals help you stay motivated and measure your progress.

Add variety

Sooner or later, doing the same thing over and over will keep you from improving any further. You can end this monotony by varying your workouts. It’s not just about including different exercises; it’s also about varying the intensity and rest periods between rounds.

Be Consistent

Once Doesn’t Count – A single training session won’t allow you to make any noticeable gains. If you want to get the most out of your training, you have to repeat the exercises. The body doesn’t start to adapt until you push it to the limit. This overload is what forces the body to adapt and helps you reach the next level.

Get the most out of every exercise.

There is a big difference between giving 50% or 100%. The harder you try during training, the more and better results you will get.

Give your body time to recover.

If you plan recovery time in your training routine, you make sure to establish a balance of effort and recovery. Try to spread your training sessions throughout the week and plan your rest days. If the last session was very intense and exhausting, the next session should be more moderate, or you should even consider taking a day off.

Training is just one piece of the puzzle Training is not the only thing you need to do to reach your fitness goals. It is also about combining a healthy diet, cool-down exercises, baths, massages, a good balance of water and electrolytes, stretching and relaxation exercises, and recovery periods. To see results, you must match all the pieces of the puzzle.

Things To Avoid After Exercising

You just finished an incredible workout. Brilliant! But training isn’t the only thing that matters: what you do right after training is key to a good recovery and muscle growth.

Forget About Hydration

Most people suffer from chronic dehydration. You must make sure you drink enough. And how much is that? Approximately 30-35 ml for every kilo of body weight, in addition to 500-1000 ml for every hour of exercise you do. This is particularly important if you sweat a lot! Hydrate before, during, and especially after your workout to speed up post-workout recovery.

Do Not Eat After Training

Are you one of those people who can’t eat after a workout? Or are you trying to reduce your calorie intake to lose weight? Whatever the reason, not eating after training is a big mistake. You have depleted energy stores, so the body needs to replenish them to recover and support muscle growth.

You should try to eat a snack, even a small one, about 30 minutes after exercising. The best option is a combination of protein and carbohydrates. How about any of these post-workout recipes or these stuffed sweet potatoes?

Eating Too Much After Exercising

You come home after training and want to eat everything in the fridge. Not giving the body adequate fuel after a workout can sabotage weight loss efforts.

If you are hungry during workouts, you are not filling yourself with energy in the right way for your sessions. If you finish exercising without hunger, you reduce the chances of overeating after training.

Forget Stretching

The heating and cooling are just another part of your workout. Muscles will respond much better when you treat them well and give them the time they need to recover.

Not Tidying Up Or Cleaning Your Workout Space

Clean up your workout space, whether it’s at home or the gym. It is not pleasant to find the weights lying around, so do not forget to order the equipment. This tip is especially important if you do weight training or weight lifting at the gym. You should always clean and disinfect equipment and make sure you put the weights back where you found them.