It has always been a known fact that exercise is linked to overall physical health. And recently, it has become common knowledge that physical exercise can also bring about emotional and mental health, as well. And even more recently, there was a study done on certain aspects of exercising that might affect a person’s overall mental health.
Leg fitness, apparently, is directly linked to mind fitness. A study done by The King’s College in London shows that those who do exercises that focus primarily on leg strength show a greater chance of maintaining a healthy mind for a longer period of time in their lives as they grow older.
The study is still in its earliest stages, and there is more research to be done on the subject, but their findings about leg strength being directly connected to mental health remained solid throughout the beginnings of the study. This new revelation could lead to a breakthrough in diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s studies, as well.
The news about leg exercise being a way to strengthen the mind came as a welcome surprise to me, as recently I have been taking early morning walks each day. While walking may not necessarily be an extreme example of leg fitness, I certainly feel it some mornings when I wake up—the tightness of my muscles and tendons, the soreness that is a result of frequent use. As a writer, it’s always hard for me to find time to get up and move, so these morning walks are really the only true, long-lasting movement I have in my days.
I always feel much more awake and alive after my walks. I feel like I can take on anything the day has to throw at me, and that I am almost impervious to anything that could send me into a bad mood. This, combined with my new-found desire to eat much healthier foods—salads, fish, vegetables and fruits as snacks instead of chips and pretzels—has overall put me in what feels like a better place emotionally and mentally.
Brookhaven Retreat, LLC also recommends and offers multiple outlets for exercise and strengthening. There are bi-weekly outings to the gym, and to other classes off-site. There are Zumba classes offered on-site, every week, along with multiple other types of exercise classes.
And there is always the walking/running path outside, on our large campus. It is my personal favorite. It is beautiful any time of year, but just now, when the leaves are falling, the skies are blue and grey, and the air is sweet and crisp, it is the perfect time for a nice, calming walk in the foothills of the Smokies.
Get out there and exercise your legs, for a more focused and longer-lasting mind!