It’s estimated that over a quarter of GP appointments relate to issues that could be helped by regular exercise.
If you’re a running fanatic or a keen gym-goer, you’ll know how good that post-workout glow feels.
Once you’ve finished your training session, you'll feel the immediate physical and mental benefits of having exercised, as you become more relaxed and less stressed.
All of a sudden, you feel positive, energised and motivated to take on the day – or climb a mountain – depending on how well your workout went!
You feel every muscle in your body relax after being worked, and this gives you a sense of refreshment and new energy.
This rush of endorphins is the reason why so many people enjoy hitting the gym, but what they might not realise is that physical exercise and mental health are very closely related.
Exercise science shows us that the link between mental wellbeing and exercising, regardless of whether the sport is practiced individually or in a group fitness class, is clear.
Evidence also shows that exercise can be beneficial for:
- Relaxing and enhancing your daily routine
- Helping you process any difficulties or problems in your life and take a more rational approach to decision-making
- Boost your self-esteem, energy levels, and help you get to know your body’s physiology and how to look after it
So, has this convinced you to embark on your fitness education and personal training adventure?
If you are looking for a way to feel great, lift your mood and feel more relaxed, beginning your fitness career by finding a personal trainer could be just what you need.
All you need to do is lace up your trainers and get going!
Physical Activity and Mental Health
It’s a scientifically proven fact: regular exercise, even if each session is only short, plays a crucial role in the fight against many physical and mental illnesses including obesity, diabetes, and depression.
And let’s not forget what it can do for your general wellbeing.
Certain studies have confirmed the positive effect of personal fitness training on illnesses such as depression, showing that exercise can boost self-confidence and give mental health patients a new perspective on their body.
The sensation of happiness felt during personal training sessions in the home, at the gym and even in group fitness classes is the result of four different elements.
These four ingredients are activated with physical exertion and the release of two hormones: serotonin and dopamine.
These elements are:
- Emotional wellbeing: linked to your stress and fatigue levels
- Self-perception: your levels of confidence in yourself and your body image
- Physical wellbeing: do you suffer from chronic pain? How often do you exercise? How is your cardiovascular system?
- Perceived wellbeing: Your view of your life and the value attached to it
These aspects come together to form what is called general wellbeing, and since sport contributes to one of them, it can benefit the other three.
So, whether you’re looking from a physical, cognitive, emotional or psychological point of view, working out, whether it be resistance training, cardio fitness, yoga or Pilates can positively influence every individual in some way or another.
The many benefits to sport and its effects on general wellbeing are many, and they include:
- Reducing the risks associated with smoking and drinking alcohol
- Increased resilience when it comes to day-to-day stress
- Healthier eating habits (which can be supported by having a fitness nutritionist as a personal fitness trainer)
- Better sleep
- Getting to know your body better and finding out what’s best for its health and fitness
With regular workouts and group training classes, all of these advantages to exercising will help you get your mental wellbeing back on track.
Exercise: An Essential Aspect of a Healthy Lifestyle
Many factors contribute to the impact of physical exercise on the overall health of many special populations.
Being physically active alone is not always enough, and to enjoy its benefits to the full, you’ll need to combine it with other factors to achieve an overall healthy lifestyle.
Recent clinical trials have demonstrated how a change of environment could significantly impact the number of opportunities available to a person, and how the place athletes choose to work out can have a real effect on their overall health.
Elements such as training environment can prove critical when it comes to our overall wellbeing, just like nutrition, workout intensity, clothing choices, weather conditions, risk of injury, stress levels and irregular sleeping habits.
Sport and exercise can be an invaluable source of hope for those in precarious situations. They could live in a developing country, be a mental health patient, or live in poverty.
Physical activity has long been (and continues to be) used to treat and rehabilitate those living with all kinds of physical and mental health issues.
For each and every one of us, exercise is a great way to prevent illness and calm the mind as a low-cost, therapeutic way to occupy ourselves and work towards our fitness goals.
It seems that all you have to do it visit the doctor and they’ll advise you to join the gym or take up a sport.
And as a health and fitness professional (even if they don't hold a personal trainer certification and are not part of the fitness industry), their profession means that they are with the knowledge of how regular exercise is beneficial and how it can help with all aspects of their patients' health including weight loss, cardio strength training, increased muscle mass and mood.
Your GP will also be well aware of the need for a well-rounded and balanced diet – so as long as you eat well and move around, you’ll keep them happy!
Following a good training program will help improve your quality of life, as you will sleep better, eat better, and feel generally better in yourself.
How Exercise Can Enhance Your Social Life
Studies have shown how being active can contribute to the social life of an athlete.
This can include anything from working out at gyms to attending group training classes to visiting health clubs and getting help from an online personal trainer.
One study demonstrated how 30-year-old men who played a sport during their time at college were being paid up to 12% more than their non-sporty counterparts.
Of course, there could be many other explanations for this, but what is interesting is that individuals who have high tolerance levels but don’t have a strong preference when it comes to how they spent their leisure time were more susceptible to the effects of exercise, and so they are always on the lookout for bigger challenges to put their energy into.
This is why sporting competition can be beneficial if you have an innate desire to train hard and succeed in your career, fitness goals and anything else that is important to you.
Another study from the University of Maryland showed that active students were more likely to vote in political elections than those with sedentary lifestyles.
By exercising either at a gym or with a sports club, people have a chance to meet like-minded peers and share their views on all kind of issues in a social environment.
4 Benefits of Sport on General Wellbeing
- Feel Happier
Exercise can work wonders when it comes to lifting your mood.
If you’re looking to become perfectly relaxed and happy, then one on one personal training could be for you.
An investment in a personal trainer is an investment in your own physical and mental health, as a fitness expert advises you on a tailored fitness program based on your needs and goals.
Before they get down to program design, your personal trainer will carry out a fitness assessment to find out more about your body composition and level of ability, so that your programme will suit your abilities and motivate you to reach your fitness goals.
With close guidance on your training techniques, nutrition and progress, your personal training will make you feel good about yourself and what you are capable of.
Team sports are also highly recommended since they offer more of a social aspect and an opportunity to spend time with others whilst challenging yourself and keeping fit.
By working as a part of a team, you’ll form social bonds and share exciting experiences.
- Improve Your Attention Span and Concentration Capacity
Believe it or not, regular physical activity can help maintain mental agility as you age.
Many studies have shown that a good mixture of aerobic exercise, stretching, gym workouts and improving your muscular strength are particularly beneficial.
- Combat Stress and Symptoms of Depression
While you work out, your mind is distracted from the day-to-day worries that build up.
This is because you have targets to meet, and you have to be 100% focussed to achieve your specific goals – so there is no space left for negative thoughts.
Working out reduces the number of stress hormones in your system whilst promoting the production of endorphins, leading to an overall lift in your mood.
- Better Quality Sleep
Regular physical activity will greatly improve your sleep quality, and you’ll wake up feeling well-rested and energised.
Your personal trainer, as a fitness specialist, will explain that sleep is important for letting the body recover following a workout, so that you’re in shape to carry on.
However, like sport, sleeping isn’t just good for your body – you’ll also find that the better the night’s sleep, the more mentally alert you are the following day.
So, working out on a regular basis proves to be incredibly good for all aspects of your health and wellbeing – especially your mental health. Once you make it part of your routine, it’ll be hard to imagine your life without it!
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