To live a productive life is to be exposed to the constant barrage of stressors. This is an infallible rule of living, but the only other option is to resign to passivity, which brings a whole new battery of problems along with it. You can easily make a broad claim that life is movement, so if you want to reinforce your mental integrity, you have to keep moving. Exercise is the foundational answer to the connection between mental and physical men, and here are some useful tips for active men.
What are the (cognitive) consequences of inactivity?
Mornings can be tough. The thick mist of morning fatigue is punctuated by chronic back pain with every movement as you drag your body to the first of many cups of coffee in a day. It takes a lot of mental energy to will yourself to reach work. Does this sound familiar?
Did you know that this can all change and that you are the only one who has the power to do it? When your body mass stagnates due to inactivity, there’s nothing left to support your musculature and your bones. The weight causes joint pain, inflammation and leads to lifelong postural disorders. Of course, when you are exposed to chronic pain, stress and anxiety follow suit.
But this is not where the story ends. Your body produces more cortisol and it becomes harder and harder to manage the pain and allergies. Lowered testosterone levels due to inactivity also contribute to the overall unfavorable mental condition. Unless you do something about it, this can end up plunging you into the depths of depression. So where can you begin your steady path towards recovery?
Where can you start?
There are several activities you can engage with if you feel that you require a few months to wind up. Of all the physical exercises that are as flexible and accessible for beginners as they are for experienced athletes, running is probably the safest bet.
The health benefits of running are undeniable. It enhances your cardiovascular system, strengthens your body, sculpt your figure and helps with healthy calorie burning. The best thing about it – and the factor that makes it so appealing to the broadest spectrum of people – is that you can dictate your own pace of progress. The length of the jog, the intensity, and the route – it’s all up to you.
If you cannot hold-up a pace for longer than 10 minutes, that’s as good a place to start as any. Nobody will judge you, and that’s an important thing to keep in mind.
What can you do?
Once you’ve started feeling confident enough to take up more regimented workouts, there are many options to choose from. While a gym membership can be a good option, especially if you can afford a trainer to look over you, don’t forget that you can also enroll in a yoga class, or Pilates.
These are incredible physical activities that accompany running wonderfully, simply because you’ll stretch your muscles more. Also, focusing on strength exercises in addition to cardio also leads to an effective muscle-forming weight-loss combination.
How does that make you feel?
Let’s get one disclaimer out of the way – you will not feel the beneficial results on your mental health immediately. It will take some time and exercising before you’ll realize that anxiety and stress have subsided. Your testosterone levels will also shoot up, which directly corresponds to more confidence and balanced responsiveness in socially unpredictable circumstances.
Working out (and moving in general) promotes the release of endorphins and serotonin, which leads to improved restfulness and focus. If you take up light exercises, you’ll feel that it has become much easier for you to get up in the morning, and muster will tackle daily challenges.
It has been mentioned that one of the leading benefits of exercising include improved cardiovascular health. This also pertains to the blood flow in your brain, which means a better influx of oxygen, the main fuel that keeps your mind going.
If you don’t keep maintaining your quality of life through regular exercise, you might fall into a terrible trap. This trap typically manifests as a vicious circle that is hard to get out of – physical unfitness leads to chronic pain and fatigue, which leads to mental distress, and inability or unwillingness to exercise. The cyclical nature of this pattern can only be broken by partaking inactivity and, for lack of a better method, pushing yourself to exercise. After all, you have to start somewhere.