mental health

Physical activity and the impact on your mental health

Intense list of appointments, hours stuck in traffic, sleepless nights, these are just a few situations that many people go through every day. 🇧🇷

The hectic routine increases stress and the chances of diseases such as anxiety and depression emerging. 🇧🇷

So that this doesn’t happen to you, we’ll show you how physical activities not only help to take care of your physical health, but also have a great influence on your mental health. 🇧🇷

The SWildLifeRehab 2022 Survey , carried out by the Ministry of Health, interviewed hundreds of Brazilians from all regions of the country by telephone to learn about the main risk factors for chronic diseases. The collected data show that the number of people with depression (11.3%) already exceeds the number of diabetic people (9.1%). In addition, Brazil has the highest rate of individuals with anxiety disorders in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 18.6 million of the population live with this disease. This shows the importance we must have with our health.

How can physical activity help mental health?

When we spend a long time sitting, without moving the body, after a few hours we are already tired. Why does it happen? This sensation occurs because our brain produces low levels of dopamine, serotonin and endorphin, popularly known as happiness hormones. One way to increase the levels of these substances is the practice of physical activity. Let’s show you some benefits of staying active:

  • 😊 Reduces cortisol, stress hormone;
  • 😌 Improves the feeling of well-being;
  • 🏃 ♀️ Increases the mood;
  • 😃 Regulates mood;
  • 🩸 Intensifies the flow of blood in the brain;
  •  💆 ♂️ Balances hormone production;
  • 😴 Higher quality of sleep.

More physical activity in your everyday life 🤼‍♀️

In the physical activity guide developed by the WHO, it is recommended to do 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate or intense aerobic activity for adults, including those with chronic diseases or people with disabilities. The number increases a little for children and adolescents, being 60 minutes a day. But calm down, no need to be scared. Small changes to your routine can help you hit that goal:

At home 🏠

Simple tasks like cleaning the house and washing the yard keep the body active. You can also stretch while watching a series on your cell phone or watching TV.

At work/school 🏫

Choose a route that you can walk. A great tip is to listen to a song to cheer you up. But if that’s not possible, use the stairs to get your body moving.

Leisure time 🏄‍♂️

Find an activity you enjoy, whether it’s yoga, running, swimming, dancing, or weight training. When you practice something that you identify with, you enter a state of flow , a mental flow that makes you go deeply into that activity and make it even more pleasurable.

In addition to physical activities, you need other care for your mental health. Therefore, we separate some attitudes that will help you achieve balance of body and mind.

Food: have a balanced diet, give preference to natural foods such as grains, vegetables, fruits and olive oil.

Sleep: Sleeping well is essential for health. Maintaining a deregulated routine can alter mood and contribute to depressive disorders.

Good relationship with yourself: set aside time in your schedule for leisure time and dedicate yourself to something that really feels good.

Good relationship with others: surround yourself with people who like you and form a good support network.

The first months of this change can be difficult, but with a lot of willpower and determination it will bring benefits for a lifetime.

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