Movement for Natural Mental Health
Move your body to support better mental health.
Scientific research has shown again and again that moving our bodies more frequently has a significant positive impact on mental health.
How to get started on your movement routine.
1. The benefits of movement for mental health.
2. Focus on movement, not exercise.
3. Check in with your physician before you begin.
4. Move mindfully.
5. Keep your movement routine fun.
6. Implement the NMH Resilient Movement Plans.
Choose a Resilient Movement Plan
Review the three plans below to determine which is the best fit for you. We recognize that different people will begin at different levels of fitness and have different schedules, commitments, and restrictions. Feel free to switch plans at any time, either adding movement as your fitness level increases, or moving to a simpler plan due to schedule or health restrictions. The key is to keep moving!
Plan 2: Energize
If you're ready to add a little bit more movement to benefit your mental health, the Even Better Movement Plan is for you.
Enhance your Resilient Movement Plan.
Once you've incorporated your chosen movement plan into your daily habits, you may be ready for these more in-depth practices to further enhance your mental health through movement. There's no need to adopt these suggestions all at once--you can pick and choose the ones that work for you. Some of these practices may overlap with the instructions in your movement plan. Don't worry if that's the case--think of these practices as additional ways to frame or think about your movement practice.
1. Move more.
2. Move more naturally.
3. Walk more.
4. Move quick.
5. Move weights.
Explore Natural Mental Health Foundations
Follow the practices found in each of the following sections to build a strong foundation and optimize your mental health.
Learn about the NMH foundations and how to use the practices and implement the information found in this section.
Sleep is one of the most important foundational steps on your journey to resilience and natural mental health. Learn practices to help you sleep.
Learn about the Resilient Diet, a set of twelve nutrition principles that can optimize your brain for better mental health.
We've created three Resilient Movement Plans in order to help you find a movement routine that works for you.
Mind-body practices are valuable tool to help you feel more comfort in your body, settle down your mind, and awaken your being.
- Mota-Pereira, J., Silverio, J., Carvalho S., Ribeiro, J. C., Fonte, D., & Ramos, J. (2011). Moderate exercise improves depression parameters in treatment-resistant patients with major depressive disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45(8), 1005-1011. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.02.005
- Winter, B., Breitenstein, C., Mooren, F. C., Voelker, K., Fobker, M., Lechtermann, A. ... Knecht, S. (2007). High impact running improves learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 87, 597–609. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2006.11.003
- Snyder, J. S., Glover, L. R., Sanzone, K. M., Kamhi, J. F., & Cameron, H. A. (2009). The effects of exercise and stress on the survival and maturation of adult-generated granule cells. Hippocampus, 19(10), 898-906. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hipo.20552
- Vaynman, S., & Gomez-Pinilla, F. (2005). License to run: Exercise impacts functional plasticity in the intact and injured central nervous system by using neurotrophins. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 19(4), 283-295. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1545968305280753
- Thomas, S., Reading, J., & Shephard, R. J. (1992). Revision of the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q). Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences, 17(4), 338-345.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional regarding specific health questions. Individuals providing content to this website take no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. It is also essential to consult your physician or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program.