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Mental health refers to one’s emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” While one’s mental health encompasses several factors (e.g., one’s biology, one’s psychological condition, and one’s habits) behavioral health examines how one’s habits (e.g., eating habits, sleeping patterns, exercising, etc.) impact mental health. Good behavioral health means engaging in behaviors that help to achieve an ideal mental and physical balance. For example, experts assert that integrating regular physical exercise into one’s daily routine directly contributes to improved mental health. Depending on the individual’s physical ability and preference, different forms of exercise that could benefit one’s mental health could include walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, aerobics, yoga, and more. 

Exercise Recommendations

The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (anything that makes the heart beat faster) each week and at least 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening activity. It is recommended for children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years to do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, daily. Children ages 3 through 5 years are recommended to be active throughout the day, with at least 3 hours of activity per day, to enhance growth and development. 

Benefits

The Academy of Neurological Therapy asserts that “exercise has been shown to help improve and prevent many conditions, including: weight management, stress levels, emotional regulation/ mood, memory, attention, strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and blood pressure regulation.” Researchers have identified several ways physical activity can trigger mood improvements and help with:

  • Releasing endorphins: participating in regular exercise is a natural way for one’s body to release endorphins, triggering positive feelings in one’s body and reducing pain. 
  • Commitment: committing to a regular exercise regimen can help a person establish a positive relationship with following through on a goal, which can in turn increase his or her self-confidence. 
  • Self-esteem: spending time mindfully taking care of one’s body can help enhance one’s sense of self-efficacy, which increases self-esteem, and reduces anxiety.
  • Distraction: physical exercise can serve as a distraction from unwanted thoughts and stressors, which also reduces anxiety.
  • Physical benefits: engaging in routine exercise can help an individual feel better physically and enhance sleep, strengthen muscles, reduce fatigue, improve circulation, increase endurance, and more. 

A major study found that physical activity spurs the release of proteins that cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections, which improves brain function and subsequently enhances mental health. Studies have shown that exercise curtails responses from both the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight-or-flight reaction and minimizes hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity, which is the hormonal feedback system that reacts to stress. Regular exercise results in physiological changes and adaptations in the human body, that can result in improved mental health.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.