The 5 Benefits of Exercise on your Mental Health
Exercise is great for your waistline, cardiovascular health, and respiratory health, but did you know it’s great for your mind too?
Exercise releases the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain, including endorphins and serotonin, both of which your body and mind need to feel great. Working out regularly may help ease depression and anxiety and even boost your self-confidence.
Even if you don’t suffer from a mental health condition, everyone can use help feeling their best. Check out the top five ways exercise helps your mental health.
Exercise helps reduce stress levels by increasing your body’s production of the ‘feel-good hormones.’ When your body produces enough endorphins, it can’t help but feel good, leaving the negative effects of stress behind. The fast-paced motion and work you put into it gives your body and mind time to focus on something else rather than the stress.
You can’t help but feel better about yourself when you build muscle, trim your waist, or look better overall. Improved self-esteem happens naturally, even if it’s not what you set out to achieve. As your body builds more endurance, accomplishes more, and beats challenges, it stimulates your mind, helping you feel better inside and out.
Sleep plays a major role in your mental health. Sleep problems and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Exercise helps encourage sleep by regulating your body’s circadian rhythm, your body’s natural alarm clock. When your circadian rhythm is off, your body doesn’t know when to be awake or when to sleep. Proper exercise helps regulate this, giving you a better night’s sleep and better moods.
Decrease Depression and Anxiety
Exercise helps get your mind off your problems. Your mind can’t help but feel good while you work out. It’s not a cure, but regular exercise helps ease your mind’s worries. It gives you a better way to cope with the issues, rather than focusing on them, you focus on your body. As an added benefit, if you exercise in a gym, you isolate yourself less, interact more, and give your mental health a fighting chance.
Helps Boost your Brain Power
Your mental health often depends on how you function. If you can’t remember things, lose cognitive function, or just don’t feel ‘right’ it’s easy to get down. Exercising regularly helps strengthen your memory, and even helps create new brain cells. When you exercise, you’re more likely to feel creative, mentally alert, and happy.
The next time you don’t feel like working out, think of its numerous benefits. Even though it’s the last thing on your mind, once you start, you’ll feel the effects. The mental health benefits often show up quicker than the physical health benefits because of the immediate release of the ‘feel-good’ hormones. Make exercise a regular habit and you’ll find that you function better, are happier, and experience less stress or can at least manage it better.