Benefits of Exercise | Counseling | Therapy

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Alex , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

The Benefits of Exercise, Healthy Habit Building With a Therapist in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville and Santa Fe: there are many benefits of exercise. People who exercise moderately at least 30 minutes a day are physically healthier, have greater self-esteem, and are more “in tune” with their bodies. Proper exercise fights depression, increases energy, relives feelings of stress and boredom, and improves overall physical health dramatically. Also, as stated previously, consistent exercise over time lowers a person’s set point.

There are many benefits of regular exercise, including:

  1. Physical health: Regular exercise can help to improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength and endurance, and improve overall fitness. It can also help to lower the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
  2. Mental health: Exercise is known to have positive effects on mental well-being, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also improve mood, self-esteem, and cognitive function.
  3. Weight management: Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, can help with weight management and weight loss.
  4. Improved sleep: Regular exercise can help to improve sleep quality, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  5. Reduced stress: Exercise can help to reduce stress and tension in the body, which can improve overall well-being.
  6. Increased energy levels: Regular exercise can help to increase energy levels, making it easier to perform daily activities.
  7. Improved immune function: Exercise is known to improve the body's immune response, making it better equipped to fight off illness and infection as well as heal faster.
  8. Better quality of life: Regular exercise can improve overall quality of life, by making you feel better, look better and improve the way you function in daily activities.

It's important to note that the benefits of exercise are dose-dependent, meaning that more is better, but even small amounts of exercise can have positive effects on overall health and well-being. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.

What if I am out of shape? for people who are out of shape, or unaccustomed to exercising and wish to change, we recommend starting an exercise program gradually. During the first week, you might begin by doing something for ten minutes and the second week by doing something for twelve minutes. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast, without the proper strength makes you vulnerable to injury. The purpose of exercise is to help you feel better and get healthier, not to hurt yourself. The type of exercise program that you create will depend fully on your current health. A typical 18 year old who has not exercised in three months, but historically has been in good shape will get back into shape much faster than a 50 year old who is 30 pounds overweight and has never exercised.

After seeking clearance from your primary care doctor to begin an exercise program, we recommend meeting with a personal trainer who can help ensure you know how to do the exercises properly. If a personal trainer is out of your budget, consider videos and books that can clearly explain proper form when exercising.

Some suggestions for exercise include:

* Walking
* Swimming
* Yoga
* Tai Chi
* Pilates
* Isometrics
* Stretching
* Beginning levels of dance class (jazz, tap, ballet, ballroom, hip hop)
* Weight lifting (with proper instruction)

Making time to exercise can be challenging, especially with busy schedules and competing demands. However, regular physical activity has been shown to have numerous mental and physical health benefits, such as reducing stress, improving mood, and increasing energy levels. Here are a few strategies for making time to exercise:

  1. Prioritize exercise: Consider exercise as important as other daily activities such as work or school, and make it a priority in your schedule.
  2. Plan ahead: Set aside specific times during the week for exercise, and schedule it into your calendar just like you would any other appointment.
  3. Break it up: If you have limited time, break up your exercise into shorter sessions throughout the day.
  4. Make it fun: Look for ways to make exercise enjoyable, whether that's by listening to music, watching TV or working out with friends.
  5. Use technology: Use a fitness app to track your progress and set goals.
  6. Take advantage of opportunities: Look for opportunities to be active throughout the day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a walk during lunch break.
  7. Be flexible: Be open to trying different types of exercise, so that if you can't make it to the gym you can still find a way to be active.

Remember that consistency is key, and it's better to do something than nothing at all. Start small and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercise over time.

Integrating exercise into your busy life can be tough. If you want more support in building healthy habits, call 215-922-5683 Ext. 100 to schedule with a Therapist today. We offer therapy in Philadelphia, PA, Ocean City, NJ, Mechanicsville, VA, and Santa Fe, NM. We offer telehealth therapy in Georgia and Florida as well.

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