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  • Writer's pictureDoreen @ UnfancyFitness

How to Make Exercise Part of your Mental Health Treatment Plan

Updated: May 3, 2023



Hello fitness friends. Are you ready to read about the importance of exercise for mental health? I know, I know, it's not always the most fun thing to do, but it's SO worth it. Exercise has been shown to help with everything from reducing stress to improving mood to boosting self-esteem. And if you're struggling with your mental health, it can be a really helpful tool in your treatment plan. So take a few minutes for amazing you and read on....


Exercise is a powerful tool that can help improve mental health. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, boost self-esteem, and increase energy levels. Exercise can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. It can also be used to prevent depression from developing in the first place.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 in 15 adults in the United States experiences depression at some point in their lives. Depression is a serious illness that can have a significant impact on a person's life. It can cause problems with work, relationships, and overall well-being. Trust me, I know what it's like to have a family and job and struggle to get through the day. Depression can stop your life in its tracks unless you make some important decisions and when you're depressed it can be difficult to try. But read about the benefits of exercise and consider this small step for your own well-being.

Exercise is one of the most effective treatments for depression. It is as effective as medication, and it has fewer side effects. Exercise can help to improve mood, increase energy levels, and reduce stress. It can also help to improve sleep quality, which is often disrupted in people with depression.



The Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health

Exercise has been shown to have a number of benefits for mental health, including:

  • Reduced stress

  • Improved mood

  • Boosted self-esteem

  • Increased energy levels

  • Improved sleep quality

  • Reduced pain

  • Improved cognitive function

  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases

Exercise can also be helpful for people who are already being treated for depression. It can help to improve the effectiveness of medication and therapy, and it can help to prevent relapse.



How to Make Exercise Part of Your Mental Health Treatment Plan

If you are struggling with your mental health, consider adding exercise to your treatment plan. There are a few things you can do to make exercise more likely to stick:

  • Find an activity that you enjoy. There are so many different types of exercise, so there's sure to be something that you like. If you don't enjoy your workout, you're less likely to stick with it. I can help you find the right exercise that works for you.

  • Start slowly. If you're not used to exercising, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time.

  • Find an exercise buddy. Having someone to exercise with can help you stay motivated and accountable. You can join a virtual class here with a live, supportive coach.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you're struggling to get started with exercise, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. A certified health coach can help you create an exercise plan that's right for you.

  • Know what to look for in a good quality fitness class. Not all classes and instructors are alike. Safety, experience and well-made, efficient classes are important. Read about how to know what to look for in a fitness class.



Challenges of Exercise

There are a few challenges that you may face when trying to add exercise to your mental health treatment plan. These include:

  • Lack of motivation. It can be hard to get motivated to exercise, especially when you're not feeling your best.

  • Intimidated by the gym or the equipment. I get it friend. It's hard to get yourself out there but that's where a health coach can support you from the set and help to get you on tour feet.

  • Pain. If you have any pain, it's important to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.

  • Fatigue. If you're feeling fatigued, it's important to listen to your body and start slowly.

  • Time constraints. If you're short on time, there are still ways to fit exercise into your day. Even a short walk or jog can make a difference. 30 - minute classes are right here for you.

  • Weather conditions. If the weather is bad, it can be hard to get motivated to exercise. But there are still ways to get moving, even if you have to stay indoors.

  • Lack of access to facilities. If you don't have access to a gym or other exercise facilities, there are still ways to get moving. You can exercise at home, or you can find outdoor activities that you enjoy.

  • Fear of injury. If you're afraid of getting injured, it's important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time. You can also talk to a personal trainer or other fitness professional who can help you create an exercise plan that's right for you.



Overcoming the Challenges of Exercise

There are a few things you can do to overcome the challenges of exercise. These include:

  • Find an activity that you enjoy. Yes, I wrote this already. Worth repeating. If you don't enjoy your workout, you're less likely to stick with it. I can work with you to find the best plan geared for your life.

  • Set realistic goals. Don't try to do too much too soon. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time.

  • Make exercise a priority. Schedule time for exercise in your day, just like you would any other important appointment.

  • Find an exercise buddy. I'll say it again :) Having someone to exercise with can help you stay motivated and accountable. That buddy could mean attending a live class where you teacher is you buddy. That is why I teach fitness. Not just the exercise but I'm here to support and encourage.

  • Reward yourself for your efforts. When you reach a goal, reward yourself. Not with food but with something you've always wanted - new clothes or an exciting activity.



Exercise is Powerful

Exercise is a powerful tool that can help improve mental health. It works for me because I had to make the decision to try. Remember, it's been proven that exercise is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression and can also be used to prevent depression from developing in the first place. If you are struggling with your mental health, consider adding exercise to your treatment plan. Begin with a professional. Reach out. You are so worth the effort. Just start to Just Move.


I hope this helps!


Be Well,

Doreen

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