Impacts of the gym on mental health
It is imperative for the concerned authorities to find creative ways to make physical activities safe on a priority basis.
Exercise enthusiasts were too much concerned about their mental health during the COVID. Disruptions to their fitness routine with constant repetitions and social disconnections from fellow exercisers hugely impacted their quality of life, they said. And on the other hand, the trend of a new industry of online has fuelled but for many, the gym is just like their home where they find and interact with like-minded people who thrive on sights, sounds, and friendships of their neighborhood fitness hangout.
Exercise has long been accepted by physicians as a significant and important factor in the growth of physical health but over the last decade, it has been seen and acknowledged that it largely contributes to the well-being of mental health. The connection between mental well-being and physical activity has been largely approved by the increasing body of research.
A large number of mental health professionals are suggesting exercise to people suffering from anxiety and depression, and are promoting exercise as an effective and efficient source of prevention to declining mental health.
Do you know what happens when recreational sports are suspended and gyms are closed?
According to the review of the 31 studies conducted to examine the impacts of a decrease in physical activities during the first wave of the Pandemic found that worries about mental health are justified in the absence of outdoor physical activity.
“It has been seen during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic that physical activity has been the highly effective choice in decreasing the negative effects of the COVID-19 on mental health.” said the author of the review. Overall, the studies found that higher physical exercise is essential for higher well-being, quality of life, and also for decreasing depressive symptoms, stress, and anxiety.
But the report has noted something quite new and different to what was universally recommended of taking moderate-intense exercise for 150 minutes per week to improve physical health, the report found no such thing as duration, frequency, and type of exercise specifically necessary to benefit mental health.
It does not reflect that we have no understanding concerning the relationship between mood and exercise. Evidence shows that physical exercise for at least 20 minutes can lessen anxiety and improve mood for several hours. We have many other alternatives when it comes to enhancing mood and reducing anxiety-like aerobic exercise, resistance training, and Yoga.
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The reason why there is growing consensus among health professionals that exercise can be as effective as medications is that exercise is thought to work in a similar way to anti-depressants.
Exercise has a long-term impact on mood. Those who regularly take exercise and remain active have far lower levels of depression compared to the general population. But when all at once, exercise-related activities come to a sudden halt, as is experienced during the COVID, its protective effects seem to wear off. Therefore, the health of many active Canadians was reported to have deteriorated during the pandemic when access to recreational sports and gyms was not possible.
So, is there any alternative option with us in case we face another virus with similar threats of remaining at home?
There should be an organized effort at the municipal and provincial levels to find creative ways to make sure new options are ready to be announced if sports and gyms are to be affected.