We know that making time to get our bodies moving is important, but not just for the physical benefits. Exercise plays an important part in supporting mental health, too.Dr. Barbara Nosalexplains that getting at least 30 minutes of daily exercise can increase the production of serotonin, which is linked to regulating mood, social behavior, sleep and more, all of which “contribute to a balanced mind and body.” And according to science, these are the best workouts for mental health.
- Hiking- Just walking is good for your mental health. Astudy at Harvard Universityfinds those who walk briskly for around 35-minutes a day five times a week improved symptoms of depression. And if you want to kick up the mood-boost, try hiking in an area with lots of trees and greenery,researchshows it can lower stress.
- Dance cardio- Getting your cardio in by dancing it out can improve mental health, too. Astudyfound dancing can decrease anxiety, raise self-esteem, and improve psychological well-being, plus it’s fun!
- Weight lifting- Turns out, making your body stronger can make you stronger mentally, too. Areview of dozens of studiesshows that lifting weights consistently reduced the number of symptoms of depression and even lowered their risk of feeling depressed in the future.
- Yoga- You probably expected to see yoga on this list and that’s because it’s earned a solid reputation for boosting mood and easing stress. According toHarvard Medical School’s Stress Resource Center,yoga can adjust our body’s response to perceived stress and anxiety by reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing breathing.