Exercise for mental health: How much is too much, and what you need to know about it
Many recent studies have concluded that exercise boosts our mental health and is directly linked to our self-confidence and self-esteem.Updated: Sep 04, 2019 13:19 IST
In the current scenario, where life is so demanding and people have no time for themselves, it is very essential to take good care of one’s mental health, which can be easily achieved by exercising daily. Many recent studies have concluded that exercise boosts our mental health and is directly linked to our self-confidence and self-esteem.
But the question arises; how much exercise is too much? A study, which took place to throw some more light on how exercise affects mental health, unfolded some interesting revelations. This study was conducted by researchers at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The researchers also tried to identify which types of exercises provided the maximum boost. They also wanted to conclude how much exercise is too much. These observations were published by The Lancet Psychiatry journal.
The researchers found that different kinds of team-oriented sports, cycling, and aerobic exercise are the most beneficial to mental health.”Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and there is an urgent need to find ways to improve mental health through population health campaigns,” notes study author Dr. Adam Chekroud.”Exercise,” he adds, “is associated with a lower mental health burden across people no matter their age, race, gender, household income, and education level.”
The study participants were recruited from across the U.S. and had all participated in the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System survey in 2011, 2013, and 2015. For their examination, the analysts utilised statistical data, additional information about the members’ psychological and physical wellbeing, as well as their fitness behaviours. The only specific mental health disorder that the researchers considered, however, was depression. The participants provided estimates of poor mental health issues they faced for over 30 days, and how much have they exercised during the same course of time.
The participants reported an estimated 3-4 days of disturbed mental health. Comparing both the lots of people who exercise, and the one who don’t, the researchers concluded that the former reported 1.5 fewer days of mental health issues.
The researchers also found that the relationship between mental health and exercise — which adds up to a 43.2 percent decrease in occurrences of poor emotional well-being — was more prominent than the relationship among it and other modifiable components. Individuals with a college training encountered a 17.8 percent decrease in terrible psychological well-being days contrasted with people who had no college training; those with a solid range BMI encountered a 4 per cent decrease contrasted with individuals who were suffering from corpulence; and individuals with higher income saw a 17 percent decrease of poor emotional wellness days contrasted and members with low-compensation ranges.
“Previously, people have believed that the more exercise you do, the better your mental health, but our study suggests that this is not the case,” says Dr. Chekroud. However, “Doing exercise more than 23 times a month, or exercising for longer than 90-minute sessions is associated with worse mental health,” he adds. How much and how many times you indulge into exercising also plays a major role, for instance, if you exercise for 30-40 minutes, three to four times in a week, it will decrease the benefits of improving your mental health. Indulging into working out for 80-90 minutes a day still decreases the poor mental health days than not exercising at all but hitting the gym for more than 3 hours a day is still deadly and not advisable.
People who are obsessive about doing an extreme amount of exercise can harm themselves with poor mental health issues. Thus, maintaining a balance is required to be fit and acquire great mental and physical wellbeing.
First Published: Sep 04, 2019 13:19 IST