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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.