How Mental Health Impacts FitnessJun 23, 2023
Achieving optimal fitness involves more than just exercise and nutrition. Your mental health plays an essential role in your overall well-being and fitness journey.
At KJO Coaching, we take your mental health just as seriously as your physical health. Whatever your fitness goals are, you can’t achieve them without addressing your mental health as well.
Our skillset in mindset and behavior change is what sets us apart from other coaching companies (in fact, our founder, Kasey Orvidas, has a Ph.D. in this area and has developed a certification for coaches–the only one of its kind– to learn this stuff for their own clients, too!).
In doing so, these women have been able to achieve their health and fitness goals and maintain them.
We’re pretty dang good at this stuff. But we’re also serious about staying in our lane.
Many of our clients work with a therapist on their mental health (or our on-staff mental health coach/liaison) while also working with us to achieve their health and fitness goals.
It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. We strongly encourage our clients to pursue improving their mental health while also working on their physical health. The two go hand in hand.
This blog post will explore the connection between mental health and fitness. By understanding the importance of nurturing your mind as well as your body, you can embrace a holistic approach to wellness that promotes sustainable fitness results.
How Mental Health Impacts Fitness Progress
Your mental and physical health are intricately intertwined, forming a powerful mind-body connection.
Research has consistently shown that poor mental health can negatively impact physical health and vice versa. Stress, anxiety, and depression can reduce motivation, disrupt sleep patterns, and impair your immune function, making it harder for you to maintain a consistent fitness routine.
However, regular exercise and a healthy diet contribute to a better mood, reduced stress levels, increased energy, and enhanced cognitive function.
In fact, some research shows that exercise can be more effective than medication or therapy when it comes to reducing mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
By acknowledging the link between your mental and physical states, you can see the importance of caring for your mental health as an essential part of your fitness journey.
Motivation and Mindset
Motivation and mindset are key factors in achieving fitness goals. However, without a solid mental state, staying motivated can be challenging.
Mental health plays a vital role in creating the right mindset for success with your fitness goals and even other aspects of your life. You can build mental resilience and maintain motivation throughout your fitness journey by cultivating self-belief, setting realistic goals, and developing strategies to overcome obstacles.
Additionally, addressing underlying mental health issues such as low self-esteem, a poor relationship with food, or a negative body image can help remove barriers and create a healthier relationship with food and exercise.
After providing nutrition and fitness coaching for years and years (and helping over 1,000 people) at KJO Coaching, we’ve recognized a pattern: it’s usually not “nutrition and exercise” that most people struggle with. It’s an issue related to motivation, self-sabotage, self-control, or other psychological barriers.
Which is why we don’t only use evidence-based practices in nutrition and fitness with our clients but also heavily focus on behavior change and mindset, too.
How Stress Impacts Your Mental Health and Fitness Goals
We all have some degree of stress, but its impact on our mental and physical health should not be underestimated.
Chronic stress can lead to physical issues, hinder progress toward your fitness goals, and increase your risk of developing mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression.
That’s why we’re all about incorporating stress management techniques into a fitness routine. Activities such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, journaling, or enjoying hobbies can help reduce stress levels, improve focus, and enhance overall mental health.
By prioritizing stress management as part of your fitness journey, you can create a more harmonious balance between your mental and physical health.
Mental Health Help from a Professional
While we support our client’s mental health in any way we can and encourage them to practice stress-reducing exercises like the ones mentioned above, we also know when to refer out and when we aren’t equipped to help someone.
At KJO Coaching, our clients also have access to Kim Konderla, our health coach/liaison — she’s been a KJO client herself, so she really gets this health and fitness stuff (which our clients find SO important since not all therapists understand macro tracking).
From Kim, "It can be incredibly hard for high achievers to slow down and allow themselves enough space to process and honor what is coming up for them emotionally. Engaging in mental health coaching or therapy creates that time and accountability for that deeper inner work. It starts to help build the inner sense that our emotions are worthy of exploring and honoring."
Take Care of Your Mental and Physical Health
Taking care of yourself goes beyond physical fitness — it also extends to nurturing your mental health.
We want you to succeed in every way and thrive as you reach your health and fitness goals — sustainably.
If you’re a high-achiever who is ready to take control of her health, is ready to learn what a healthy lifestyle truly looks like, and is ready to make it work for your busy schedule, we encourage you to apply for coaching with us.
You can learn more about our team here.
And if you’re eager to get started on improving your mental and physical health immediately, you can check out our FREE self-sabotage workshop.
Receive short, daily trainings and exercises to finally learn the “why” behind your cravings, all-or-nothing thinking, and other psychological barriers that keep getting in the way of your health and fitness goals.
Get access here!
Remember, your mental health matters just as much as your physical health on this fitness journey. Don’t neglect it.
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Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106. doi: 10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a. PMID: 16862239; PMCID: PMC1470658.
Singh B, Olds T, Curtis R, et alEffectiveness of physical activity interventions for improving depression, anxiety and distress: an overview of systematic reviewsBritish Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 16 February 2023. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2022-106195