This text was written by a TecMundo columnist; finally learn more.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released a powerful slogan: “Every move counts”. The aim is to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity, but going further, every body movement has health benefits, given the alarming rates of physical inactivity (not moving enough) in the population.

Suggestions are to increase movement in any activity and in different situations, such as cleaning the house, climbing stairs, washing cars, watering plants, among others. But does this apply to its mental health benefits? Would a person suffering from anxiety and depression benefit in this way?

What is the difference between physical activity and physical exercise?

The first point is to understand the contexts of physical activity and the difference in physical exercise. The latter is a type of physical activity, but not all physical activity is considered exercise.

The examples of daily activities above are physical activities in the domestic context, but there are also occupational (such as sweeping the streets at work) and transportation (such as cycling to work).

The evidence is generally clear, and you already know this: physical activity is associated with health. Physical exercise is even more strongly related, as physical exercise is an organized and systematized activity for a goal that may be health but can go further and vary individually.

The first focus of people who start exercising has traditionally been the body – aesthetics in the tireless pursuit of hypertrophy or weight loss. However, due to the increasing prevalence of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression and stress), this has been an obvious motivation to take action.

This is a paradox because mental health can be both a motivator and a barrier to exercise; Have you ever noticed how hard it is to leave the house to go to the gym on a sad day or when you’re in a volatile mood?

I write exercises because in the context of this physical activity we actually have mental health benefits, not in others (transport, occupational and domestic). Researchers emphasized that exercise serves both to prevent mental illness and to improve mental health, but the field of physical activity plays an important role in this regard.

You probably do not feel well psychologically while cleaning the house or climbing the stairs. A clear example of this was during my vacation when I saw two people on the beach: a man trying to collect garbage, walking in the sun all along the beach; and a woman who does sit-ups in her spare time. How can the benefit of moving the body be the same in so many different situations? not him.

There are key aspects that support psychological well-being in an exercise session: socialization, a sense of competence, self-efficacy, autonomy, that can generate pleasure and improve self-esteem that are not found in other contexts of physical activity. In addition, the neurochemical aspect in which neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin are released in the brain is due to exercise. In an article published a few days ago, a group of mental health professionals made recommendations for physical activity:

Physical activity recommendations to improve mental health

It should be chosen based on personal preference, so experiment. If you don’t like the gym or running try Pilates or Yoga, if you like group activities try CrossFit or functional training. There are various modalities today, some of which you will probably identify with.

CrossFit is a physical exercise option that can help improve mental health

Social support is important, being appreciated by other people is a driving factor. Other people influence your attitudes and emotional responses to exercise, and this is critical in determining whether you should exercise.

Leisure physical activity may be the ideal area to support mental health benefits.

Whenever possible, choose natural and pleasant environments, such as green and blue areas in nature, as they can increase the benefits for the brain.

Outdoor physical exercise, such as walking (the trail), can provide even more mental health benefits.

Basically, when it comes to exercise for mental health: The method doesn’t matter, but pick an exercise that you enjoy doing in your spare time (free time) and view it as an opportunity to socialize or even enjoy your own company (solitude). ). When it comes to physical activity to promote mental health, the environment is important.

fabio dominski He holds a PhD in Human Movement Sciences and a degree in Physical Education from Santa Catarina State University (UDESC). He is a university professor and researcher at the Sport and Exercise Psychology Laboratory (LAPE/CEFID/UDESC). He is the author of Physical Exercise and Science – Facts and Myths and presents the Physical Exercise and Science program on UDESC Joinvile radio (91.9 FM); the program is also Available as a podcast on Spotify.

Source: Tec Mundo

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I'm Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I've written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.


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