THIS type of exercise involves regular repeated movements of the body. It can be done alone or with others as part of sport or as an exercise routine best done to music or vigorous dancing.
Dancing on your own or with others can be particularly good ‘tonic.’ It seems to improve body image, as individuals begin to think of themselves as lively and attractive. This in turn makes them move in a more alert way, ready for action.
It also helps beat stress in several ways. It improves the general body fitness so that the individual is less likely to suffer ill effects from stress. Usually, when the body becomes ready for action, sugar and fat are released into the blood. Exercise will help use these up.
Regular rhythmic exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure. By absorbing the mind and body totally, such exercises can help people forget their troubles. Exercise can also provide an enjoyable release for bottled up feelings.
As individuals get better at their exercises, a sense of achievement at improving the skills is felt. This increases the self-esteem and so helps to lift depression.
Many doctors believe that there is another reason why rhythmic exercise can improve the mental state. A powerful chemical, a hormone is released into the blood during exercise and acts as a general stimulant. It makes the exerciser more alert, less tired and helps him/her concentrate. Exercise may have the same effect on the brain as taking an anti-depressant pill.
Mental alertness is an essential part of general wellbeing, which, indeed, is a whole package not limited to the physical alone. There is a connection between physical and mental alertness, as the individual that is mentally alert would most likely also enjoy physical fitness and vice versa.
There are several mental exercises that can help the individual relax, concentrate, beat stress, feel good and well coordinated among others. Yoga is one of these.
Yoga is both a physical and mental method for reducing stress. As practised in many parts of the world, it concentrates on physical exercises and relaxation. But the mental side of the yoga method is not completely ignored.
Yoga session begins with a relaxation exercise done in a special position. This is followed by a series of slow stretching exercises in which the final position is held for a while. These stretching exercises help to increase mobility and suppleness of the body.
All the body muscles are exercised in the process, and it is claimed that the slow controlled way this is done also ‘massages’ and improves the blood supply to the internal organs. The session ends with another period of relaxation.
The exercises are done calmly, in silence, with concentration and carefully controlled breathing. This takes the mind off everyday worries and the effect is similar to that of meditating. The session normally leaves the exerciser feeling mentally refreshed and with an increased feeling of wellbeing.
Done regularly, yoga may bring down high blood pressure. It certainly has beneficial effect, if the exerciser is suffering from too much stress.
If interested, yoga books are available and it can be taught. But it is better to go to yoga classes to be sure you are doing the exercises properly. The atmosphere in the classes will help the individual to relax too.