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Mental Fitness For Life

Physical fitness and mental fitness. Both of these are equally important and contribute equally to your growth as an individual.



Mental fitness vs. Physical fitness

Being fit and healthy is essential for every individual. A fitter person is more energized, productive, and efficient throughout their day. They are also liable to achieve more and more likely to succeed in tasks because of the numerous benefits they gain by being healthy.


Physically Fit Or Mentally Fit:

Fitness, yet again, is divided into two types: Physical fitness and mental fitness. Both of these are equally important and contribute equally to your growth as an individual. Physical fitness is defined as keeping your body healthy enough to do tasks and work to the best of your abilities. On the other hand, the mental fitness definition consists of keeping your brain healthy enough to be stable emotionally and think clearly. In most cases, physical and mental fitness are interrelated: achieving one gives way to achieving the other.



Why is staying Physically Fit Important?

When we talk about physical fitness, our minds immediately think of exercise. Exercise is a significant way to keep yourself physically fit. Other physical fitness components or factors that improve your physical health are proper diets and proper rest. A mixture of all three can lead to multiple health benefits:


  • Being physically fit leads to better moods throughout the day as exercise leads to serotonin production in your body which boosts your mood.

  • Stresses, depression, and anxiety are reduced because of the stress-relieving hormones released during physical activity.

  • The overall reduction in tension and stress and the extensive working of your muscles during exercise leads to better sleep routines.

  • You become more active, productive, efficient, and energized throughout the day. As a result, your performance in various tasks in your home, at work, or school becomes much better.

  • A physically fit person does not tire out quickly and has more incredible stamina and strength.

  • You also tend to become more confident as you begin your physical fitness journey through exercise and diet. This is because stress levels are reduced, and serotonin (the mood booster hormone) is released.



The Relation Between Physical Fitness and Mental Fitness:

The physical fitness importance can be seen through the few benefits it offers listed here. Another use not listed above but of high importance and deducible from the list above is that physical fitness improves mental health. We have seen that the mental fitness definition talks about keeping the brain healthy, which is what physical fitness achieves. The release of serotonin, the decrease in mental health issues and stresses, better sleep patterns result in better brain performance. That is why productivity and efficiency increase in the first place. Further, physical activity improves cognitive function: your brain acts faster, thinks quicker, learning and memory improve overall. (Douw, Nieboer, van Dijk, Stam & Twisk, 2021)

Research conducted to relate physical fitness exercises to the psychological and mental fitness of different populations and individuals has shown a direct link between physical health and improvement in mood, confidence and one's personality, and overall work ethic. Further, physical training coupled with the other physical fitness components does lead to a boost in cognitive performance during the exercising and training. (CH & WE, 2021)



How else to achieve mental fitness?

Now, we have seen that mental fitness can be achieved by physical fitness. However, there are specific ways to be mentally fit without indulging in physical fitness exercises and training. This improvement in mental health is made by explicitly targeting that area through the activities you do.

  • You can start by getting a diary or journal to acknowledge your feelings, think out loud, and unload your brain, which will help improve your emotional stability.

  • Meditation and yoga are exercises specifically to achieve inner peace or mental peace. They ease your stresses and relax your brain.

  • Being positive throughout your day will also help you filter out and get rid of negative thoughts that hinder your success.

  • You can improve physical fitness by exercising and playing sports; mental wellness is enhanced by playing brain-stimulating games like sudoku, logical puzzles, crosswords, etc.

  • Taking one thing at a time and refraining from overburdening yourself with work and the consequent anxiety and stress will also help you achieve mental fitness.

You can see either of the two paths you take: whether you decide to work on physical and mental fitness through physical training or improve your mental health through mental fitness exercises. The ultimate result will be a more fitter you that can succeed in every task they do. Therefore, it also becomes imperative that both mental fitness and physical fitness are promoted equally. In the end, they will both lead to a healthier individual who is likelier to grow and develop as an individual with time. ("MENTAL FITNESS FOR LIFE: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF AN 8-WEEK MENTAL FITNESS PROGRAM ON HEALTHY AGING", 2021)


References:


Douw, L., Nieboer, D., van Dijk, B., Stam, C., & Twisk, J. (2021). A Healthy Brain in a Healthy Body: Brain Network Correlates of Physical and Mental Fitness. Retrieved 7 October 2021, from

CH, F., & WE, S. (2021). Physical fitness training and mental health. Retrieved 7 October 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7023304/


MENTAL FITNESS FOR LIFE: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF AN 8-WEEK MENTAL FITNESS PROGRAM ON HEALTHY AGING. (2021). Retrieved 7 October 2021, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/713844362


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