Tips for Using Exercise to Facilitate Recovery From a Rough Patch

Tips for Using Exercise to Facilitate Recovery From a Rough Patch

2020 and 2021 were pretty rough, and it can be pretty difficult to pull yourself out of the funk it left behind. You might be surprised to learn you have an inexpensive and simple tool at your disposal that can help: exercise. Not only can exercise help you manage high-octane moments, but it can also help long-term with your stress response. While any exercise can improve your mood and outlook, you will get the most bang for your buck if you choose exercises that work efficiently for you and that you’ll enjoy doing persistently.

Zion Health shares some tips for designing a workout routine that works best for you:

Find a Balance

Like many areas of our lives, our exercise routine calls for striking a balance. Create a routine that incorporates both cardio and weight training. Both of these exercise types have their advantages. Cardio improves your heart health, brain function, mood, immune system, and metabolism.

On the other hand, weight training also provides many benefits, even for women. It improves bone density, increases the strength of connective tissues and muscles and raises your mood. Utilizing both of these exercise types together will give you a well-rounded routine and provide you with the maximum benefits. While it might be tempting to only stick with one of the other, especially if it is all you have ever done, the best option is to do a little bit of both.

Use Exercise to Improve Your Mental Health

Recovering from a stressful period is a massive mental effort. Yet according to the American Psychological Association, “the link between exercise and mood is pretty strong.” Exercise can not only help in the short-term, but also to relieve long-term mental disorders such as depression.

Exercise can be a powerful tool in battling issues like depression. Some experts suggest that exercise is comparable to antidepressants for patients with major depressive disorders. Still not convinced? There is evidence that a person’s responsiveness to stress is moderated by activity. In other words, the most active you are, the less you are affected by stress. Exercise indeed is an excellent option for improving your outlook on life.

Design a Routine You Can Maintain

While all exercise will produce these mood-boosting effects, there is a way to design your routine to get the most benefits. First, do not exercise beyond your respiratory threshold. If it is getting hard to talk, you are pushing yourself too much. Start out slow. When you exercise moderately, mood-boosting effects begin to occur in five minutes, but if you push yourself too hard, these effects could be delayed for 30 minutes. Secondly, make sure that you exercise when you feel your worst and therefore need a mood boost the most. Thirdly, do not pay too much attention to the outcomes of your workout, especially the physical ones. It can take months before you begin to see physical changes in your body.

Management for Motivation

The longer you perform a workout routine, the more effects you will begin to see. To increase your chances of sticking with a routine, choose a workout you like. Sure, your neighbor might have said that running in the early morning hours is the most effective, but if you hate waking up early, the odds are good that you’re going to oversleep. Make exercise easy and fun, not something painful. Also, start small. Do not plan a long, two-hour routine right off the bat. Take baby steps.

Tech Tools Help

You might want to monitor your progress with a tool like a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit or AppleWatch, or a smartphone app like OpenFit or Nike. These options won’t take the place of a personal trainer, but they can certainly coach you along toward healthy goals when you’re between classes.

Expand Self-Care

Beyond exercise, there are other ways to boost your mental health and reduce stress, particularly as a form of self-care. This comes in many forms, and can be something as simple as keeping your home clean and clutter-free. It can also mean stocking your fridge with healthy snacks and filtered water, learning to meditate, journaling, getting enough rest and taking better care of your skin through natural products.

Exercise can be great for helping you thrive during stressful times. However, not all exercise routines are made the same. By following these few simple tips, you will ensure that you are getting the most out of your routine and have the highest chances of continuing it long into the future.

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