Cycling, Dancing, HiiT, And Karate: The Workouts Helping You Beat Mental Illness While Toning Your Body

The long-lost answer to soothing your brain: moving your body. 

While we’ve all heard that things like going out for a walk can help lift your spirits when you’re feeling low, these workouts have been proven to palpably improve the symptoms and downsides of certain mental diseases.

From high-intensity exercises to slow and steady ones, here are the exercise classes you should definitely sign up for if you suffer from any of these mental illnesses:

Anxiety and Depression - Cycling

The great thing about cycling is that you can leave your mind behind as soon as you step on the peddle. Because the physical aspect of it is a methodical one, your mind does not need to be engaged to remember certain moves or to coordinate your steps. 

Whether you choose to do it in the great outdoors, or in a group spin class instead, cycling will decrease the stress hormones in the body, which have been attributed to the negative emotions and thought processes that take over your train of thoughts during a depressive episode or an anxiety one. 

Dementia and Alzheimer’s - Dancing

What better excuse does anyone need to Salsa their nights away from degenerative mental diseases? 

The unique combination of coordinated hearing and coordinated moving that dancing has makes it a mentally, as well as physically, stimulating activity. 

Whether you prefer latin vibes with Salsa or Tango, or you’d rather join the Zumba and aerobics crew instead, dancing is a surefire way to lower the risk of getting Alzheimer’s, dementia, or even Parkinson’s disease.

Schizophrenia - HiiT

While high-intensity interval training workouts are not for the faint of heart, they are surprisingly effective when it comes to reducing the anxiety and depression suffered by schizophrenic patients. 

The quick switch between high-intensity intervals and lighter workouts or brief breaks has been proven to help ground Schizophrenic patients in reality by two separate scientific studies. 

It also releases endorphins that generally increase the sense of positivity felt after the workout, which also helps reduce the symptoms of the mental disease. 

Attention Deficit Disorder - Karate 

Popular with women and men of all ages, this martial art has been proven to effectively balance out the excess mental and physical energy that ADHD patients deal with. 

Since the exercise combines meditative and pensive stances and breathing techniques with physical strength, it demands and instills self-discipline and concentrated stillness in its practicer. 

Disclaimer: These exercises are not substitutes to any medication you may be taking for mental illness purposes. 

If you know your symptoms require a little more than exercising twice a week to help them subside, make sure to consult your doctor before embarking on this active journey.