Mental health as a topic has become more openly discussed than ever before, and thankfully so. Its impact on our physical health is profound. True, proper nutrition and regular exercise can improve mental state, but that road is two way. A healthy mental state can greatly improve adherence to nutrition guidelines and accelerate your results in the gym.
Much like physical training, the amount we can give mentally will fluctuate from day to day. At times we are in high spirits, under which conditions it is easy to maintain consistency in the gym and make wise training decisions. However, at other times we are not and this can cause us to withdraw from exercise or even stop entirely. A low mental state can also cause a person to exercise too much or too intensely as an escape or release, which can lead to injury rather quickly.
The relationship between nutrition, exercise, and mental health is cyclical and must be maintained. That being said, it is significantly more difficult to tend to the first two if the third isn’t present. If you currently exercise regularly, you likely have already experienced the positive effect it can have on your mental well-being. Sometimes, though, we need to address mental roadblocks (whether personal or athletically related) to benefit our training.
If you are experiencing such difficulties, there is absolutely no shame in acknowledging and seeking help for them. No different than physical training, we all at times need guidance to work through problems that are occupying our mental and emotional bandwidth. Do not be afraid to ask for help, whether it is from a trusted friend, family member, or healthcare provider. We all need a support system!
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