Most people are well aware of the many health benefits that come with exercising. Weight loss, lower blood pressure, increased energy, slimmer build, and reduced risk of diabetes are some of the few benefits. However, many people are less aware of how beneficial to your mental health exercising can be.
Exercising improves symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as keeps your memory sharp. Working out is not only just a physical exercise, but it also works out your brain. There are countless reasons why exercising is great for your mental health.
Eases Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Exercise has become such an effective antidepression and antianxiety treatment that many doctors often recommend it before turning to medication. It has been scientifically proven to boost your mood, decreasing both depression and anxiety symptoms. It does this by releasing the body’s “feel good” chemical known as endorphin. The brain and spinal cord produce endorphins. When released, it elicits feelings of happiness and euphoria.
You don’t even need to work out that hard as even simple exercises can improve depression and anxiety.
Exercising reduces stress levels. By increasing your heart rate, your body produces more neurohormones like norepinephrine, which reverses any brain damage caused by stress. Norepinephrine improves your cognition and boosts your mood. It also helps you focus on things other than stressful events. Your central nervous system and sympathetic nervous system are forced to work together, helping you respond to stress better.
Many of the changes in exercising aren’t always noticeable right away. However, losing weight, increasing muscle tone, and improving your stamina can all be achieved when you exercise. All of these added up can greatly improve one’s self-esteem. You may be able to fit in slimmer clothes, have a leaner physique, and accomplish activities you once struggled to do with ease. Even the smallest accomplishments can help your self-esteem, which helps boost your confidence as well.
Getting the right amount of sleep and your mental health are directly linked. Without a good night’s rest, your mental health will suffer. Exercising heats up your body’s core temperature, which leads to a calming effect on the brain. This increase in temperature allows your mind to comfortably settle. Exercising even helps you regulate your sleep patterns and circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock that controls when and how we sleep.
NOTE: To improve your sleep, it is recommended by sleep experts to not work out close to bedtime.
Boosts Overall Brain Performance
Exercising is an excellent way to improve your overall brain power. Engaging in cardiovascular exercises have been shown to create new brain cells in a process called neurogenesis. This process helps boosts overall brain performance. Some ways your brainpower is improved include:
- Sharper Memory
- Retaining Information
- Preventing Cognitive Decline
- Increasing Creativity
- Improving Mental Energy
Exercising not only gives your body more energy to carry out physical activities, but your brain is also rejuvenated and can function at a much higher level. Your brain resilience to handle mental and emotional challenges is also higher. You can cope in healthily.
Exercise benefits for your physical health, but your mental health benefits just as much. Exercising releases chemicals in your brain that boost your mood and improve your cognitive abilities. Many doctors recommend exercising over medication. Fitness Nation is here to help all individuals reach their goals, whether they are physical or mental. Contact us to join our gym.