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Best exercises for mental health

Have trouble sleeping? Feel down all the time? Exercise might be the answer. It’s well documented that working out is good for your physical health, but did you know that it can also bolster your mood and do wonders for your state of mind? According to one study in the Lancet, people who engage in exercise have 43% lower self-reported “poor mental health” days compared to those who don’t. So, in this Pacific Prime Latin America article, we’ll give you the best exercises for mental health.

Individual health insurance blog

6 best exercises for mental health

Given the number of exercises you could undertake, many of you might be wondering: “What is the best exercise for mental health?”. You can use our list below for inspiration. Long story short, it doesn’t matter what exercise you undertake, as getting active and incorporating movement causes a release of endorphins, which is the happy and feel-good hormone.

1. Walking, jogging, or running

The simplest exercise you can do, regardless of your access to fancy equipment, is none other than walking. It’ll also allow you to step out into nature and breathe in some fresh air, which helps promote good mental health through encouraging positive thought. You can start off slow, building up the pace (jogging and running) and distance as you feel comfortable.

Good exercise for: Those with physical health problems usually can’t undertake heavy exercise, so walking is a good option.

2. Yoga

Prefer gentle movements and stretching? Perhaps you should try out yoga. Depending on the type of yoga you opt for, it can help you self-reflect, connect with your breath, as well as be a therapeutic experience. Needless to say, long deep breaths increase supply of oxygen to the brain and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes calmness.

Good exercise for: Those who suffer from anxiety and depression, who could benefit from mindfulness.

3. Swimming

Swimming is another good exercise for mental health, especially if you love being in the water. It can regulate one’s breathing and improve breathing technique, which can help if you’re feeling anxious or stressed. In addition to this, if you’re swimming outdoors, you can also choose to be surrounded by tranquil natural beauty as an added bonus.

Good exercise for: Those who have joint-aches and would like an exercise that has a low-impact on their joints.

4. High-intensity workouts

At face value, high-intensity workouts seem to be the opposite of mental health. After all, it can increase stress levels, due to the release of cortisol. Nevertheless, as you get more active and used to it, your body will adapt and become more resilient. You’ll find that they can actually help, rather than hinder, mental health.

Good exercise for: Those who want to push themselves and are looking for mental stimulation through fitness.

5. Boxing

Are you frustrated at things? Need an outlet to release it? Boxing is a great avenue to release aggression, which can be an incredibly satisfying, empowering, and healing experience. Furthermore, if you’re boxing with another boxer, as opposed to a punchbag, you’ll also need extra focus, which is another mental health benefit!

Good exercise for: Those who would feel angry, without an outlet to release their pent up emotions.

6. Dancing

Dancing is associated with being happy! From salsa to hip hop, there’s so many types of dancing to choose from. As you follow the beat of the music and lose yourself in the moves, you’ll enjoy yourself, which is the best thing for your mental health. To top it off, dancing can also help with your balance and posture, which can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Good exercise for: Those who enjoy music and movement, as well as those who want to exercise without feeling like they are.

Look into health insurance to make sure you’re taken care of.

While exercising is good for physical and mental health, there’ll be times where you’ll feel a bit under the weather and need to access healthcare. To ensure you receive the best possible healthcare, without having to pay for it out of pocket, you should look into private health insurance. It’ll give you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be taken care of no matter what happens.

Whether it’s individual health insurance, expat health insurance, or other health insurance plans in Mexico or elsewhere in the Latin American region, you can count on Pacific Prime Latin America to help. With over two decades of experience as a health insurance broker, we can help you compare health insurance plans and select the best one that suits your needs and budgets. Contact us today!

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Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime Latin America
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral