The power of short breaks, movement and other practices on improving mental health – 4 essential reads featuring Dr. Arash Javanbakht
July 29, 2022
As of July 16, people have only to press three digits – 988 – to reach the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline when they need help during a mental health crisis. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression were a leading cause of global health problems even before the spread of COVID-19; however, they’ve gotten worse. Since the first year of the pandemic, anxiety and depression rates worldwide have increased by an overwhelming 25%. The Conversation gathered four essential reads that explore some daily habits and practices that have been shown to improve mental health. Arash Javanbakht, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Wayne State University, shares the science behind the connection between exercise and mental well-being as well as his personal experience with the positive impacts of physical activity. “Working out regularly really does change the brain biology, and it is not just ‘go walk and you will just feel better,’” he said. “Regular exercise, especially cardio, does change the brain. Do not see it as all or none. It does not have to be a one-hour drive to and from the gym or biking trail for a one-hour workout vs. staying on the couch. I always say to my patients: ‘One more step is better than none, and three squats are better than no squats. When less motivated, or in the beginning, just be nice to yourself. Do as much as possible. Three minutes of dancing with your favorite music still counts.”
Read, “The power of short breaks, movement and other practices on improving mental health – 4 essential reads” from The Conversation.
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