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Emerging adults may boost their mental wellness by incorporating exercise

  • Posted at Oct 1, 2014
  • Written by yellowbrick

Most young adults have heard that a daily exercise routine contributes to physical health. Getting a daily dose of exercise makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight and aids in preventing chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. But, did you know that your mental wellness depends on exercise too?

Mental wellness

Let’s start off by discussing mental wellness. Mental wellness encompasses social and emotional health. It includes internally driven feelings about the self, like self-esteem and self-image. Your mood, your ability to approach stressful situations, your satisfaction with life, and how you interact with others fall under the umbrella of mental wellness. The way you learn, make decisions, and form relationships are affected by mental wellness. Feeling calm and confident, being able to regulate your emotions, and engaging in meaningful relationships are signs of heightened mental wellness. On the contrary, if you feel on edge, impulsive or depressed, have a hard time maintaining social connections, or feel too stressed out to sleep, you may need to take steps to increase your mental wellness.

Experts recommend exercise

Emerging adults may boost their mental wellness by incorporating daily exercise.  Originally published in Health Psychology, a group of researchers studied whether or not daily exercise directly impacts the mental wellness of emerging adults. Participants in the study journaled about their daily activities and completed surveys addressing mental health. Areas like self-esteem and satisfaction with life were measured and analyzed to determine if daily exercise made any impact. The results were clear. When emerging adults logged daily exercise, their reports on self-esteem and satisfaction with life increased. The study highlights the positive mental wellness effects young adults feel when they get a dose of daily exercise.

Excuses, excuses

Exercise is important in shaping physical and mental health throughout the transition to adulthood. Daily physical activity can makes it easier to function emotionally. It lowers stress levels, and helps you feel good about yourself. Exercise can even help you sleep better. However, many young adults do not make exercise a habit. Some might not have time to exercise because of a demanding school or work schedule. Others might not have the resources to fit exercise into their budget, or assume it will be costly. More so, some young adults have never been formally educated on the health and wellness benefits of daily exercise. Whatever the reason may be, young adults are not exercising as much as they should.

Get a move on

If you do not feel socially or emotionally fit, or if you struggle with mental health concerns, talk with your doctor to see if incorporating exercise into your daily routine may boost your mental wellness. Ask for recommendations on how to go about starting a daily exercise routine and learn some basic moves. Try different styles of exercise, like kickboxing, walking, biking, dancing, or playing a sport, until you find something you enjoy. Depending on the complexities of your mental health concerns, your doctor may put you in touch with a mental health program for additional support. Some programs for emerging adults, like Yellowbrick, offer group therapies that incorporate exercises, like yoga.

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