Scientifically-Proven Roles of Mental Health in Fitness

Portrait of fit red haired woman doing yoga exercises at home on floor: sitting with legs crossed in lotus position on mat and smiling

Did you know that your mental health may be the key to your fitness success? The mind-body connection is one of the most powerful things in existence, and it’s not just a cliché.

When we feel good about ourselves, our thoughts become optimistic, which can help turn up our energy levels. Likewise, exercise becomes more complicated when we feel down or stressed out due to a lack of motivation or focus. Your mood can also affect how much weight you lose during an exercise program.

It’s no wonder so many people struggle with their fitness goals! Luckily there are a few scientifically-proven strategies for building more substantial mental health and unlocking all the benefits it has to offer on your fitness journey. Here are a few tips to get yourself started.

Side view of meditating woman sitting in pose of lotus against blue sky outdoors

Meditation can come a long way.

In reality, meditation is simply a practice of being present with your current thoughts and allowing them to flow through you without attachment or judgment.

When we meditate, we clear our minds and release some stresses that often build up over time. A simple practice of becoming aware of your thoughts and accepting them exactly as they are is enough to give you a better sense of peace.

The U.S National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has published research showing that meditation can improve physical and mental health, including lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving sleep quality, mood, and coping ability.

In the fitness world, meditation can improve our conditioning by strengthening our mind-body connection and allowing us to focus in a way that will help us achieve our physical goals more effectively.

Talking to a professional can help.

One of the most important things to recognize is that there is always someone else who can help you, and that’s where therapy comes into play.

Having a mental health professional, we can trust our thoughts and feelings, which is an invaluable resource for developing greater self-awareness and clarity. Therapy has a surprising number of positive benefits. Physical, emotional, and even social benefits include improved moods, better coping skills, lower stress levels, and reduced feelings of isolation.

Eating disorder counseling has also been linked to increased self-esteem, which can help you develop the confidence you need to reach your fitness goals. For many people who struggle with their mental health issues, fitness is a great way to improve their overall quality of life.

Even if you don’t want or need treatment for mental health issues, a simple conversation with a professional can help increase your self-awareness and provide you with some helpful tools for building a better relationship between your mind and body.

Motivation and commitment are necessary.

Let’s face it; motivation is the key to progress. The biggest obstacle most people have in their fitness journey is a lack of motivation.

It’s always going to be a daily battle between your mind and body, and you can never expect yourself to feel 100% motivated every single day. It’s just not realistic. The best we can do is create small habits and take one step at a time to build momentum and achieve our goals.

A common problem with motivation is that it comes in waves. Sometimes we feel unstoppable and ready to conquer the world, while other times, we may be feeling tired or lazy, which can affect our motivation.

That is why it’s essential to make yourself as accountable as possible and stay committed to your goals. Commit with a friend or hire a coach if necessary, but don’t let anything stop you from achieving your fitness goals. It is entirely possible to overcome mental health obstacles and find fulfilling success!

Staying healthy is a conscious decision.

One of the biggest problems that people with mental health issues face is not the condition itself but how we choose to deal with it.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where we’re bombarded by constant advertisements and marketing campaigns encouraging us to take certain medications and put our health in the hands of big pharmaceutical companies.

These medications can help, but they don’t teach us how to take care of ourselves and deal with the root problems that often lead to anxiety or depression. We need to understand that we can choose to be healthy by making healthy decisions, like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing mindfulness.

We don’t need to rely on medication to do all the work. It can be very beneficial to learn everything you can about your mental health to make decisions based on what works best for you.

Just as we work to develop our physical health, we must also maintain and protect our mental health. Working on our fitness goals while staying mentally healthy to have a fulfilling lifestyle full of confidence and self-love is essential.

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