Benefits of replacing social media with exercise

Benefits of replacing social media with exercise

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Researchers say that exercising instead of looking at social media can improve your mood. Mersa Images / Getty Images
  • Researchers say that people who reduced their social media use and instead engaged in physical activity reported feeling more satisfied, less depressed and less stressed.
  • Experts say there are mental health benefits to both exercise and less screen time.
  • They say there are a number of ways to reduce social media use, including turning off apps and letting friends know that you’re reducing screen time.

Replacing just 30 minutes of daily time on social media with physical activity, even for just two weeks, will make you feel happier, according to New study.

A team from the Center for Mental Health Research and Treatment at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany led by an assistant professor Julia BryullovskayaPh.D., found that participants who replaced social media with exercise felt more satisfied, less depressed, and less stressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic than participants in a control group.

The researchers said that the positive effects of the two-week period lasted up to six months after the study ended.

“Since we do not know for sure how long the coronavirus crisis will last, we wanted to know how to protect people’s mental health through free and as low-threshold services as possible,” Bryullovskaya said in a statement.

“This shows us how important it is to reduce our online availability from time to time and go back to our human roots,” she added. “These actions can be easily implemented in one’s daily life and are completely free – at the same time, they help us stay happy and healthy in the digital age.”

The researchers recruited 642 volunteers and randomly assigned them to one of four groups of roughly equal size.

The first group reduced their social media consumption each day by 30 minutes. The placebo group increased physical activity by 30 minutes per day while continuing their regular use of social media.

The third group combined both, reducing social media time and increasing physical activity. The control group did not change any behavior.

Participants were surveyed before and during the study as well as for six months afterward.

Feelings of well-being, especially when exercising regularly, have increased with the decline of social media, the use of which has risen during the pandemic as people strive to stay connected, the researchers said.

The researchers said that participants in the three uncontrolled groups spent less time on social media. Six months after the intervention, the compound group participated in an additional 1 hour and 39 minutes each week in physical activity. The positive effect on mental health persisted throughout the follow-up period.

Dr. Amy Gooding She is a clinical psychologist at the Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center, a national chain of mental health centers.

Gooding told Healthline that Healthline’s social media over-connection to many other lives is holding back our happiness.

“All of this affects our ability to focus on our work and really be present in our lives,” she said. “Users may compare themselves to other people’s lives, families, or vacations, all while separated from their family or personal lives because they’re using their phones, looking to social media.”

“Not only does this result in low self-esteem, but it can also make individuals critical of themselves and their experiences,” Gooding added. “When people stare at their phones, they are not interacting with others or their environment. Constant scrolling during downtime can affect an individual’s ability to feel comfortable when relaxed or still, with a calm and calm mind. Taking a break from social media can help people to Feeling more comfortable with silence and relaxation can help people learn more to interact and be present with the people and environment around them.”

Gooding noted that the benefits of physical activity on mental health are well established.

“Improvements in stress management, sleep, mood and energy were observed in those who engaged in 30 minutes of physical activity per day,” she said. “If you find that you are using social media to relieve stress, take a break from work to follow your friend’s activities, try to put limits on your use, and consider doing these things instead: take your dog for a walk, play with your kids, have a dance party in your house, or Take a picnic, call a friend and go for a walk, or go window shopping on your favorite downtown street.”

Edward Storm He is an engagement specialist and content producer who developed 30 Day Challenge Builder platform.

He told Healthline engaging others in a challenge or using time management apps can help someone turn their social media time into something more productive.

“Do a 30-day challenge with different forms of accountability,” Sturm recommended. “Put the money. For example, if you go on Facebook for more than an hour a day as measured by RescueTime, you pay $100 to a friend. Or use social pressure as a mechanism to make sure you don’t overdo it. Tell your friends you’re doing this challenge and have them make you responsible for that.”

“The same goes for exercise. Burpees are one of the best full-body exercises anyone can do anywhere,” Sturm said. “Do 50 burpees a day for a month in the same amount of time you spend on social media. This month will be one of the most beneficial months in your life. Use apps and friends to stay responsible and achieve your goals.”

Dr.. David SeitzMD, the medical director of Ascendant Detox in New York City, told Healthline that people who find themselves browsing endlessly may need a break. Offer some tips for weaning yourself off social media.

“Put a time limit on app use,” Seitz said. “If you’re on an iPhone, you can set time limits for app usage through the Screen Time feature. You can set limits for certain apps, like social media, and you’ll get notifications when you’re close to reaching your limit. Apps like Offtime, Social Fever, and Space. Try starting with a 30-minute limit and then gradually increasing the time you allow yourself to be on social media each day.”

“Uninstall social media apps,” Seitz added. “This may seem like a drastic step, but it can be very effective. If you find that you can’t stick to time limits or use social media in moderation, try uninstalling apps from your phone. You can always reinstall them later when you feel like you have more restraint. When You get used to not having the apps on your phone, you may realize you don’t need them as much as you thought.”

“Find other things to do,” Seitz said. “When you feel the need to browse social media without thinking, try to find something else to do instead. As recent research suggests, do some physical activity to reap the mental health benefits. Or try reading a book, taking up a new hobby, or spending time with friends and family. This is a good opportunity to re-educate yourself that there is more to life than social media.”

“Let your friends and family know,” Seitz advised. “If you are worried about missing important news or events, tell your friends and family that you are taking a break from social media. This way, you will not feel the need to constantly check your feed, and you can relax knowing that you will be updated when necessary.”

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