mental health

The Impact of Exercise on Your Mental Health

Most people workout or spend hours at the gym to improve their physical health. Whether it be to lose weight, to gain muscle, or to get the ultimate summer bod, it’s safe to say that most people exercise for purely physical purposes.

But did you know that exercise also has a wide range of mental benefits? If you lack the drive to exercise, maybe these mental health benefits of getting up and moving will be the push you need!

Confidence Boost

While you may not feel like hot stuff after spending an hour on the treadmill, it goes without saying that exercising gives you a confidence boost. Maybe you’ve ran longer than ever before, or perhaps you’re able to lift 20lbs more than you could a month ago.

Exercise is about changing your body, but it’s also about setting goals, meeting them, and making new ones. Achieving goals is one of the best ways to boost your self-confidence and your self-worth.

Exercise Makes You Happy

We all have those days when we feel down in the dumps. While it’s hard to rake up the effort to want to go to the gym, especially when you’re sad, studies have shown that exercise alleviates symptoms in those who are depressed as well as those who suffer from anxiety. In fact, exercise is often just as effective as antidepressants!

Even if you aren’t an exercise lover, surely you can find 30 minutes a day to get your heart rate pumping. The benefit of feeling less sad, depressed, or anxious is well worth the time you have to spend at the gym!

Stress Reduction

Worried about Cialis cost and how you can afford it? Dealing with the worries of balancing your budget while paying for the medications you need?  One of the truths of life is that each day brings new worries and stresses. While we often have very little control over the stressors that we face, what we can control is how we react as well as how we deal with stress.

No matter if you’re having a rough day at work or home, taking a quick walk or heading to the gym for a group workout session is the ultimate stress reliever. Exercise has been shown to not only manage physical stress but mental stress as well!

So how exactly does exercise impact stress levels? Physical activity prompts your body releases norepinephrine. Higher levels of this chemical in the brain help to moderate how the brain responds to stress.

Fresh Air = Happy Mind

During the warmer months, take your exercise out into the great outdoors! Outside you can partake in all sorts of physical activities including:

  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Rock climbing

As you already know, exercising as a whole has all sorts of positive benefits on the mind. But, exercising outdoors offers its benefits.

By spending time outside, you’ll have plenty of exposure to the sun. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D, a vitamin that helps to mood regulation. With sufficient levels of the vitamin, you’re less likely to experience symptoms of depression.

Minimize Cognitive Decline

As we age, we all know that our bodies start to change in all sorts of ways. While your skin may be more likely to sag and your hair may begin to thin, aging also causes your brain to become a little fuzzy. Aging can make it harder to remember certain things from the past while also making it harder to learn new things.

Age-based diseases like Alzheimer’s kill brain cells which impact normal brain function. By exercising, you can keep your brain healthy and protect it against cognitive decline. Exercising increases chemicals in the brain that prevent degeneration.

Help With Overcoming Addiction

We all have our vices in life. From smoking to eating junk food, odds are you have an addiction in your life that isn’t the healthiest. To battle against the reward chemical and emotions that we feel after giving into an addiction, exercise!

Physical activity has shown to be extremely helpful in recovering from an addiction. Exercise is a great distraction tool from otherwise harmful addictions. Exercise also releases dopamine and other emotion-controlling chemicals in the brain. This means you can get your “high” from working out versus from an unhealthy and potentially dangerous source.

Conclusion

Though very few people love exercising, the fact is that staying active on a daily basis isn’t only good for you physically, and it can also help to improve your mental health.

If you’re not looking to improve your body but want to improve your mind, give exercise a try! Find a physical activity you love and stick with it.

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