This year, Simply Gym decided we would put on an awareness week for mental health not just once but twice! One back in May and the other before World Mental Health Day in October. Both times we did so with the aim of showing how being a gym member can help you cope and combat mental health issues. In this article we provide gym advice for mental health by going through the common effects and issues people face when struggling mentally.
When you’re feeling lonely, building a deeper connection with your physical fitness through staying active offers a better form of dedicated self-care. Being a member of a gym specifically can also provide the opportunity to become a member of a like-minded community.
A constructive way to utilise time when you’re feeling anxious is to have a goal to action. Be it just tidying your exercise clothing drawer or getting up and out to the gym for a short session. To expel worries of the future, having a goal for your day can be a great distraction and provide certainty for the day ahead of you.
Physical Insecurities and Self-esteem Issues
You are more than what you look like. By taking part in fitness sure, you can address your insecurities but more importantly you can learn to appreciate your body for what it is. Not forgetting, you’ll truly understand what it’s capable of when challenged – for that you will be more secure and confident in your own skin.
Anger and Stress
Besides the cathartic aspect to throwing weights around, the gym can also help you learn to have patience with yourself. When you don’t succeed at what you’re aiming for, having a gym routine allows you to practise until you can. This forms resilience and self-belief which can help you to lower your anger and stress points in other areas of your life.
Actively repeating positive comments about yourself in the mirror as you exercise goes a long way to disparaging negative thoughts when they come up. Exercising can also be mindful, as you should be so focused on what your body is doing and the physical feeling of it. Practising mindfulness is another way you can cope with mental ill-health.
Being more physically active during the day can not only give you more energy for the day ahead (regardless of your sleep quality), it can also help you press the reset button. Allowing you to get longer or higher quality of sleep because you are physically worn out.
When you find something you enjoy, which could soon become exploring new exercises in the gym, including more things you look forward to in your routine can make a huge difference to your mindset.
All in all, it’s no secret that taking part in exercise releases those feel good hormones which directly combat mental ill-health. However, being a member of a gym allows you to explore more than just one way to do that; you become a part of a community, you can challenge yourself and with the unlimiting range of equipment or classes on offer you can try a variety of exercise types.
“The truth is, there are no quick fixes for good mental or physical health. What works is developing healthy habits in our daily lives, that help us to feel OK and able to cope with everything.”
– Taken from the New Guide from MentalHealth.org at The Mental Health Foundation.
They couldn’t have summed it up better, when exercise becomes a part of your lifestyle it isn’t just your physical fitness that changes positively – it’s your mental health and your wellbeing too.
Want to add your own gym advice for coping with mental health? Head over to our social media and let us know there!
Liked this? Why not checkout our blog: Are Fitness Classes Worth It