Research on the best ways for individuals to support their mental wellness is still ongoing, as mental health is a crucial aspect of overall wellbeing.
Research indicates that regular exercise and mindfulness training can improve mental health.
A new review’s findings indicate that the best combination for enhancing psychological well-being may be exercise and mindfulness. Since the mind and body are interdependent, preserving one’s mental and physical well-being is crucial to one’s general wellbeing. The complex relationship between mental and physical health and the strategies that can help people maximise both are still being studied by researchers.
The combined effects of exercise and mindfulness were examined in a recent systematic review that was published in Mental Health and Physical Activity. The analysis examined the findings of 35 studies. The findings imply that the greatest advantages for mental health may come from combining mindfulness with physical activity. To fully comprehend the benefits of mindful exercise and determine the most effective amount of intervention, more research is necessary.
How do mindfulness & exercise improve your Mental Health?
Evidence Trusted Source lends credence to the notion that physical activity might enhance mental well-being. People who exercise may be able to manage specific mental health disorders and prevent mental disease. For instance, there are advantages to exercising. Reliable Resource for those suffering from depression or anxiety. Additionally, mindfulness training might be especially advantageous for mental health. Although mindfulness is a broad phrase and a trendy word these days, the practice has its roots in ancient customs that go back thousands of years.
“The awareness that emerges by way of paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” is how renowned meditation expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, describes mindfulness. There are various ways that people might practise mindfulness, like establishing a dedicated time to focus on raising their awareness or engaging in meditation. Evidence Trusted Source concurs that mindfulness has positive effects on mental health. For instance, mindfulness-based therapies may benefit the following mental health issues:
- Eating disorders
This does not imply, however, that mindfulness practices will benefit all individuals or groups. In fact, some research suggests that mindfulness-based interventions may make some persons more distressed, especially those who are anxious.
How can mindfulness help with exercise?
The current review’s authors point out that not much research has been done on using exercise and mindfulness together as a combination intervention to enhance mental health.
To locate clinical trials that satisfied their inclusion requirements, the authors searched six databases. Among these were English-language research with adult subjects that were published in peer-reviewed publications.
The study has to include a component of mental well-being as an endpoint and report on long-term mindfulness and physical activity therapies.
Studies where physical exercise and mindfulness were not the primary therapies or where it was impossible for the researchers to ascertain if mindfulness instruction was a component of the intervention were eliminated. Additionally, they discovered that combining mindfulness training with physical activity could potentially reduce stress, anxiety, and depression when compared to inactive controls. When taking into account active controls, the result might be comparable to a physical activity intervention alone.
How to get started with mindfulness and exercise?
The review highlights the potential advantages of exercising and practicing mindfulness. Individuals who want to start exercising or practicing mindfulness can do so safely, getting advice from experts when necessary. The founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine and non-study author, Dr. Alex Dimitriu, told MNT that he is double board certified in both psychiatry and sleep medicine.
Exercise and mindfulness have both been demonstrated to enhance mental health on their own, so it should come as no surprise that they work well together. I frequently advise my patients, particularly those who are depressed, to keep in mind and tend to their basic “animal needs,” which include rest, food, exercise, mindfulness and meditation, time spent in nature, and quality time with friends and family.
According to Dr. Dimitriu, combining any of the beneficial behaviours listed above could enhance the results for mental health even further. “A personal trainer or coach can be helpful with exercise, and using an app, seeing a therapist, or going to a meditation workshop can all help with mindfulness and provide additional guidance,” said Dr. Dimitriu.