Physical Activity, a Natural Prescription for Mental Health

14 December, 2020 ,

It is no longer a secret to anyone; the pandemic can have a negative impact on mental health. Human beings are not designed to be constantly alert, to live in unpredictability, or to be isolated from their peers.

If you are reading this and are lacking in energy, motivation, or are having a difficult time, your kinesiologist can help!

Why does physical activity play an important role in mental health?

It is important to know that stress and physical activity work within the same system; the nervous system.

When we are stressed, we secrete hormones like adrenaline. Adrenaline is part of the family of catecholamines; hormones produced by the adrenal glands that are released into the bloodstream in the presence of psychological or physical stress. Physical activity, on the other hand, also causes the body to secrete adrenaline, but unlike with stress, endorphins are also secreted to help rebalance the body. Endorphins are known to be a natural morphine produced by our body.

One of the biggest problems of modern living and the pandemic is that our bodies are constantly stimulated. The blue light of our screens, our busy schedules, the need to perform at high levels, and several other stressors are at the root of the high adrenaline levels in our bodies. The result of this is a serious imbalance in our hormones and bodies. To regain balance, it is important to be physically active a few hours a week.

How can my kinesiologist help me with my mental health?

After an assessment of your needs and fitness parameters, your kinesiologist will work with your intrinsic motivation to define your physical activity plan. Your physical activity plan will therefore be built based on what you like to do and what brings you pleasure.

Do you like to go outside and play?

Aimez-vous faire du yoga?

Do you like cycling?

Playing as part of a team?

Feeling pleasure during physical activity is as important as being active.

According to Marie-Eve Corriveau, a kinesiologist and teacher at CEGEP in stress management, “there is no secret recipe for helping a patient who lacks motivation, it is very personal to each client and we need realistic and achievable goals. If the client who consults us does not like to do yoga, asking them to do it will only create more stress, which is the opposite of the desired effect.” She adds, “I really like to encourage people to go outside and play, especially during these times, with a pandemic and the proposed health measures. Not only for the benefits of soaking in sunlight and vitamin D, but also because it’s proven that training outside is better. Physical activity isn’t just for the gym, all forms of activity are beneficial, you just have to find what you like to do.”

So if you’re not feeling well mentally, don’t hesitate to talk to your health care provider and kinesiologist. A kinesiologist can help prescribe the physical activity that you need for your physical and mental health. They can also accompany you on your journey by discerning your goals and the obstacles that prevent you from reaching them. It is part of their mission.

And what about you? What do you like to do as a physical activity?

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Author

Federation des kinesiologues du Quebec

Kinesiologists help guide the community by supporting life-long physical activity through a framework of reliable, safe and professional interventions, relying on proven expertise. Physical activity is recognized not only as a good way to maintain and build physical fitness, but also to maintain a healthy body and mind. Supervised by the FQK, kinesiologists write about rehabilitation, prevention and performance.

Federation des kinesiologues du Quebec

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