I don’t talk a lot about exercise (or nutrition) on this platform because that’s not really in my wheelhouse. Granted, I have a lot of experience with exercise, dating back to my high school and college football years. And I have tried multiple movement and workout regiments throughout the years (and still exercise regularly today).
What I can tell you is that, for the most part, they all work! Now obviously, depending on age, body composition, goals, etc. what works best for one person may not work best for another. But if you are consistently moving your body in some fashion on a daily basis, eating health, and getting quality sleep, you can dramatically improve your physical health.
But just as important, you can and will improve your mental health with consistent movement and exercise as well. Moving the body is a powerful tool for improving mental well-being. When we change our physiology, we produce and release chemicals like dopamine and adrenaline that make us feel good! They give us drive and energy, which is what we need to feel better when we’re down in the dumps. Changing our bodies is the fastest and most direct way to change our minds and our brains. And this leads to happy, positive feelings.
When I’m feeling lousy, the simple act of going for a walk outside in nature does wonders. Nature has profound health benefits in and of itself! More intense workouts like running, biking, lifting weights, body weight movements (pull ups, pushups, air squats, lunges, etc) or yoga can also improve mood more dramatically. There is science that shows the simple act of forward movement can lead to improved well-being. Yes, simply moving in a forward direction can be uplifting and help squash those negative emotions.
On a daily basis, I like to start off my mornings with some kind of light cardio to set the day (walk, slight jog, bike ride, swim). Later in the day (typically every other day) I like to lift weights or do some kinds of high intensity interval training – anything that will get my heart and muscles pumping and break a good sweat. The more intense the workout, the more dramatic my mood changes and improves.
Now I’m not encouraging anyone to try anything specific (especially without consulting a doctor or medical professional first), but I am encouraging you to at least look into the many brain benefits of exercise. As well as eating healthy and getting adequate sleep. All work in conjunction together and all crucial for improving brain function, mood, and overall well-being!