Wellness Wednesday: Impact of Exercise on Mental Health

We all know how important exercise is for our physical health, but did you know it is also crucial for our mental health?

The four’s Xavier Hershovitz spoke with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on the importance of exercise with our mental health.

Regular physical activity can improve your mental health and help prevent chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Yet, many still struggle to establish a regimen or embrace the gym setting. Luckily, exercise isn’t restricted to one type or location.

Studies have found that people who train outdoors tend to exercise longer and more frequently. There are a number of different ways to use items found at a park to make the most of your exercise time.

  • Walking or jog with high knees or on a trail
  • Use park benches for incline push-ups and triceps dips
  • Trees can be used for wall-sits or pull-ups from low branches

Why is changing the stigma around mental health important?

  • Depending on the context, how we reference terminology for mental health or behavioral health may vary.
    • Behavioral health is more of an umbrella term and descriptor of mental health for serious mental illness, such as:
      • Severe major depression
      • Schizophrenia
      • Bipolar illness
      • Severe personality disorder
    • Differentiating it from substance use disorder, which is another behavioral health condition but a different category. Substance use disorder is the inappropriate use of substances for other than medicinal purposes.

Trying to label someone is a stigma, however trying to characterize and be able to affect some positive outcome – that’s a different use of the term.

To learn more about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan‘s mental health resources, click here. 

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