Top ten mental health exercises for college
When Ben first came to see me as a sophomore in college, he was very intense Anxiety With Obsessive-compulsive disorder She made him feel afraid to leave his room because he thought he was going to catch a disease. This was before COVID. Ben started Cognitive behavioral to treat It was also described to him by A Drugs Specifically for obsessive-compulsive disorder. His symptoms improved greatly but it was still difficult to get to class and feel well. Then one of his roommates asked him to sign up for collegiate basketball, and he agreed, since he played basketball in high school. When Ben started playing on the team, he felt much better and his anxiety level dropped dramatically. He wasn’t worried about getting sick and instead was looking forward to playing basketball with his friends.
This is one of many patients I have seen over the years who had a partial response to medication and therapy but found exercise to be the critical component of their recovery. Exercise has been shown to have positive effects on mental health. As the new year begins, I hope you can encourage your students to engage in regular exercises to promote good mental health.
Knowing the benefits of exercise for mental health, I ask every new patient if they exercise and what they like to do. In this article, I will talk about how exercise can improve mental health. (I won’t discuss team sports, which have benefits but also some unique challenges.) In general, exercise is not the only treatment for mental health disorders, but it is a good addition to standard treatment. For anyone with health restrictions, check with your physician first before embarking on an exercise program.
Top ten exercises for college students
- Yoga: the Mindfulnessbreathing exercises, and stretching yoga Parasympathetic activation Nervous systemWhich makes us feel calm. In fact, yoga has been found to reduce both depression And anxiety. Most universities offer yoga classes, and online free or low-cost yoga classes are also available.
- Mountaineering: I’ve never rock climbed, but many students love our university’s rock climbing wall, and some use a second climbing wall in town. There are climbing clubs at various universities as well. Students tell me this can be a great way to relax and meet people.
- Running/walking: Endurance exercise Which increases our heart rate has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety and improve sleep. This type of exercise increases the secretion of serotonin. dopamineAnd endorphins in our brains are chemical messengers that make us feel good. Endurance exercises are also improving Attention in ADHD.
- dance: Students join hip-hop, ballet and salsa dance clubs. As I write this, I remember taking modern dance classes when I was a freshman. It’s great to have all these opportunities to try new activities that could lead to a lifelong hobby. Students describe to me the camaraderie they feel if they are in a dance group performing at a special event, such as Black History Month.
- Tai Chi: There have been studies that show antidepressant and the anti-anxiety effects of tai chi, a mind-body martial art form that uses movement, breathing, and postures. Antidepressant effects of tai chi It may be related to reduced inflammatory markers, altered brain networks associated with depression, and increased parasympathetic nervous system activity. There are tai chi programs that have been simplified and designed to treat depression specifically.
- Strength training: a study Strength training has been shown to reduce anxiety in young adults. a Dimensional analysis Strength training has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression in people with mild to moderate depression.
- swimming: who does not want Stress their joints and seeks a good endurance workout, swimming is a great activity. Most schools have indoor swimming pools, and some Southern schools have outdoor pools as well.
- Team sports: My indoor sport was the rowing crew, which provided beautiful views of the sunrise as we moved quietly along the river in the early morning. Many patients have been enjoying basketball, football and volleyball. Studies show exercise group To be more effective than solo exercise in reducing stress, possibly through the positive effect of social contact.
- Walking tour: While providing endurance training, hiking has the added benefit of being outdoors. One study showed that walking in a natural environment It has a more positive effect on emotional well-being and stress relief than walking in a city environment. Plus, being outdoors in general increases exposure to sunlight, and generates melatonin to help you sleep better at night.
- horseback riding: Living in a place surrounded by horse farms and a few therapeutic riding centers, I would be remiss not to mention the mental health benefits of horseback riding. Equine assisted therapy Proven to be an alternative treatment for Post-traumatic stress disorderperhaps by facilitation Emotional regulationcommunication and Self-efficacy. Some colleges have rides nearby or even offer classes. I have seen students find great emotional satisfaction in riding a horse.
How can your college student get started
If your college student is someone who doesn’t like to exercise, there are sometimes exercise groups on campus that provide additional support and supervision. Campuses may have discount personal trainers at their tuition centers for beginning students. The most important thing is for the student to come up with a plan that they will find interesting.
For students who feel more comfortable starting out on their own, they can check out the various offerings at campus gyms and recreation centers that may include jogging, yoga and Zumba classes. They may also look into extracurricular activities such as indoor sports, dancing, cheering, and hiking. Northern schools sometimes have skate clubs, while southern schools may have surfing.
Each student can assign a few Objectives for the semester, while being flexible and knowing that they may not be able to practice during exams. You can also do a family exercise activity while your kids are home for vacation – a walk, a hike, a session at the gym. It’s a great way to connect. So let’s move with joy in 2023!
© 2023 Marcia Morris, All Rights Reserved.
Details have been changed to protect patient privacy.