How Working with a Personal Trainer Benefits Your Mental Health
By: Andrea Poteet-Bell | Sunshine Behavioral Health
Working with a personal trainer combines strong basic support for improving your life with extensive personal health and fitness benefits. Perhaps the most prominent benefit is support in learning how to go step-by-step towards your goals, a challenging concept in a time when only quick solutions are considered by many people. The opportunities for gradual change and achieving goals over time are often forsaken. Whether you’re receiving support by simply showing up for training sessions, or meeting strength and weight goals, having an experienced trainer invested in your personal success makes a big difference. Here are some ways a personal trainer can strengthen your mind along with your body.
Self Confidence Boosts in More than a Dozen Ways
Long before you’ve got those six-pack abs and impressive arm and leg muscles, there are other results from exercise that help build your confidence, and with it your mental health and desire to continue your progress. In this list of 14 self confidence boosters, personal training fulfills a significant number of the listed strategies in a single activity. Appearance and exercise are clear benefits, but also look for your improving sense of your gifts, talents, and abilities; your focus on personal growth rather than relative progress compared to others; positive thinking and self-image; and your sense of gratitude. Most personal training clients appreciate the ability to make changes in their physical and mental health that they may have struggled with for decades.
Depression Care Begins with Simply Showing Up for Personal Training
Depression can make it hard to get started on self-care, or in fact any activities at all. Lack of motivation even to take a shower is not uncommon with people who are troubled by depression. Having routines that don’t depend on how you feel, just what day and time it is, can help enormously with getting going. Exercise definitely helps with depression for most people, both in improving your state of mind and also helping to reduce the negative thoughts that occur during depressive episodes. As each rep produces feel-good hormones, you’ll see your thoughts improve along with your physique.
Brain Chemistry Benefits are Substantial
A significant part of well-planned exercise patterns designed by a personal trainer result in boosting brain chemistry including serotonin, dopamine, the GABA system, and other areas studied by physicians to target medications. If exercise can get you some or even much of the way down the road to a more balanced brain, it’s a great opportunity. Take charge of your own physical and mental health, relying on your physician to help you address any personal health conditions. Chances are, your doctor will be enthusiastic about your activity.
Your Body will Lead the Way in Healthy Nutrition
Healthy exercise routines and a more stable lifestyle naturally lead to fewer cravings for unhealthy foods. They no longer satisfy the needs of people with lower stress, better neurochemistry, and less physical pain. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn strategies that go beyond exercise to healthy nutrition, and find a positive way to change based on hunger for healthy food, leaving dieting patterns behind.
Personal Training as a Complement to Recovery and Harm Reduction
The strategies for steady improvement that personal training offers clients, along with the reliable, natural methods for improving their mental health and state of mind, can be powerful resources. They go hand in hand with recovery and harm reduction programs. Personal training clients can begin living a much healthier life, with better relationships and a positive state of mind, and these can help them with issues such as letting go of chemical supports and habits that require professional help.
The Joy in Life is Your Healthy Mind’s Response to Living
A more vibrant life is a natural outcome of personal training related efforts and their effects on mind and body. As you develop confidence, enjoy “brain boosts” from natural neurochemical enhancement, and learn to live in this new state of mind, it helps connect with others and yourself, face challenges, and experience joy. You get more rewarding engagement with your day, whether it’s a tough day at work or a vacation on a tropical island.
You Meet Other Healthy People
Personal training is typically a one-on-one activity, but also a gateway to connect with other like-minded people who are following similar paths. They may be at the same gym or related classes. Their connection with your personal trainer or one of his or her colleagues generally means you have a lot of goals and strategies in common to share.
Workers, especially in leadership positions, often engage in exercise as part of their workday, and many companies provide showers and even gym facilities to support their efforts. The reason is clear: exercise and fitness training provide root support for a healthy increase in productivity, allowing workers to use their improved focus, creativity, mood, and other results towards their success at work.
A Peaceful Body and Mind Sleep Better
Even if you don’t get tired after exercise, used wisely, exercise can be an important resource for better sleep. It’s important to cool down towards bedtime, preventing the energizing chemicals you produced during exercise from disrupting healthy sleep. If there’s a several hour gap between exercise and winding down for bed, the dissolved stress, healthy, relaxed attitude, and feelings of accomplishment can help with both falling asleep and staying peacefully asleep as well.
Personal Training as a Mentoring Relationship
Personal training can be a powerful way to pass on wisdom as well as healthy life strategies and fitness-building techniques. In contrast to the “cult of experts,” personal training is a path for both the trainer and client to build rapport, work towards goals and success, and work in more of a mentoring relationship where the teacher gains by teaching the student.
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