10 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

10 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

It’s a well-known fact that exercise will impact the way you look, and most of us, when asked why we do the workouts, say to lose weight or tone our bodies. But the true reason behind that is much, much bigger. Aside the benefits exercise can have on cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, there’s also the positive influence it has on our state of mind and mental health. With that in mind, we present you with the 10 aspects of exercise good for your inner self.

1.  Bye-bye stress

The first and always highlighted benefit of exercise are its stress relieving properties. It increases the levels of norepinephrine which is a chemical in charge of the way we handle stress. So, start sweating down that tension.

2.  Hello happy thoughts

This may sound like a myth, but it’s a scientifically proven fact: working out makes you happier. And it’s all thanks to endorphins which are responsible for the feelings of euphoria and happiness. Instead of medicine therapy, sometimes you’ll be recommended exercise since it helps with depression or anxiety.

3.  Boost your confidence

You’ll probably think that it can only make you doubt or hate the way you look, but that’s actually a wrong belief and negative presumption. Exercise is not about others, it’s about you and what you do for yourself. It doesn’t matter how you look before you hit the gym, for instance, but how great you’ll look after a while there. And that will give you that extra confidence fuel you needed to feel great about yourself and chase life. Remember, gym is for exercise, not a catwalk.

4.  Step into nature

Exercise can mean a lot of other things besides hitting the gym. There’s a lot of physical activity you can do outside and still call it exercise. Hiking, rock climbing, jogging or canoeing, it all depends on your choice and aptitude. Feeling the nature around you and breathing the fresh air will make you vigorous and free. Not to mention that some sun can boost the vitamin D in your body, but it can also lessen  depression and improve a bad mood.

5.  Keep your mind in check

As we grow older, our mind gets older too. This makes it susceptible to some degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. This cruel disease kills brain cells and consequently important brain functions slowly starts to decline until lost forever in the end. Exercise helps in prolonging cognitive abilities, which normally start to decline after 45. If a person starts exercising between 25 and 45 years of age, they can boost the chemicals which prevent degeneration in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

6.  Calms you down

Many would think that only doing something relaxing will calm you down, but actually spending 15 minutes on the treadmill can do the same. Whether you just have the jitters or have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, by doing moderate to high intensity aerobic training you’ll make your body release those chemicals making you feel serene and calm.

7.  Upgrades your brain

Studies have shown that animals and humans who perform cardio exercises as a result experience the forming of new brain cells or neurogenesis and consequently improved brain activity. According to research, during exercise a brain-derived protein which helps in learning and thinking is increased.

8.  Helps with addiction

Dopamine is a chemical released in response to pleasure, such as exercise, drugs or food. That’s why many people become addicted to substances that produce it, like drugs and alcohol. But since the exercise has the same effect it can help during the quitting period by being the new source of dopamine.

9.  Inspires creativity

Research has shown that when having a thought block, the best way to resolve this is by walking or jogging. Those individuals who exercise regularly are proven to be more productive and energised. All those cluttered thoughts come back in order after some gym time, and the best time for that is actually midday because of the body’s circadian rhythms.

10.  Be an inspiration

We don’t pay much attention to this fact, but we can often be an inspiration to others and have an impact on our surroundings. If people see you cycling or fast walking, they’ll most certainly consider it a good idea to try it themselves. This is backed up by studies showing that people perform better when practicing paired up with someone than alone. Being part of a team increases pain tolerance and helps you feel more sure of yourself and your abilities.

Finally

The overall conclusion is that exercise in any form and quantity you feel able to do and are comfortable with is not only good for you but can also help others. So, grab those sneakers and bottle of water, visit a bicycles online store and start sweating out your body toxins and boosting up your mental health.

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