It is a well-known fact that exercise improves physical health. But it also improves your state of mind and mental health. Exercise and mental health are closely linked. Whether you want to lift your spirits, ease your anxiety, sharpen your mind, raise your confidence or improve your memory, go to the gym, the sports field, walk… Do whatever works for you, it is important to move, regardless of age and fitness. Here are some of the benefits that exercise can bring to your mental state:
Also read: 10 bad habits for your mental health
Exercise raises confidence
In addition to looking good and formed, regular exercise will also make you think much better about yourself. Just the fact that you lost weight and that the clothes you wear now look much better will boost your self-esteem and make you work even harder to look even better.
Exercise has the power to quickly elevate a person’s perception of their attraction, that is, their confidence. Turning exercise into a habit and doing it regularly will not only be an investment in your body, but also in your mind and soul. It will make you feel strong both physically and mentally.
Exercise relieves depression
Whether you are briefly overwhelmed or suffering from clinical depression, aerobic activity, those that accelerate your pulse and cause you to sweat, will help you cope with these painful conditions.
Not only running, but also the simplest of fast walking, release endorphins and enkephalins, chemicals that create a sense of comfort and pleasure. If you have clinical depression, exercise alone will not be enough, but it will accelerate and enhance the action of antidepressants.
Spending hours at the gym can be challenging, but it will also release endorphins, ie hormones that make you feel good, which can help you stay in good mood longer. Exercising for half an hour several times a week will be enough to stimulate your mood and motivate you to keep going.
Reduces tension and agitation
Have a hard day at work or school? Going through a family crisis? Working out at the gym or brisk walking for 45 minutes will dull the edge of worry and agitation.
Doing this on a daily basis will make you more resilient to stress and more able to withstand increased emotional stress. This can be thanks to norepinephrine, a chemical that secretes intensely during exercise and helps better withstand stressful circumstances.
In addition, your body will feel special tension in your shoulders, neck and face when stressed. Consequently, you may even have a headache accompanied by tightness in your chest or a pulse. Physical activity will help your muscles relax and will successfully release tension in the body, which will subsequently reduce the tension in your mind.
It encourages creativity
According to research, two hours after training, the mind is in a super creative state. So instead of throwing yourself in the shower immediately, chill after the gym and grab a brush, musical instrument or keyboard. You will see how strenuous training will make you more inspired than ever.
If you choose to exercise outdoors, you will feel even more inspired by all the natural beauty of beaches, forests, trails, lookouts and other beautiful surroundings. Take a one-hour bike ride and work on cardio, boosting your creativity.
Promotes consistency and self-discipline
Even the act of being attached to a workout regimen has positive benefits. Keeping a routine can help you become consistent with yourself. It teaches you to concentrate and persevere, to fight for your goals, and to have the courage to overcome challenges. This type of disciplined attitude has intersections with other areas of our lives, such as improving performance at work or in education.
Exercise for better sleep and mental health
Exercising can put your biorhythm in order and help you get to bed at the right time.
Studies have shown that moderate exercise, such as light jogging or weight lifting, has the effect of a sleep aid, even in chronic insomnia.
Temp your workout five to six hours before your desired sleep time. Stress raises body temperature, and when the body cools down a few hours later, the brain receives a signal that it’s time to sleep.
Exercise prevents intellectual decline and maintains mental health
From late adulthood, the brain loses power. The aging process and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia kill neurons. Brain volume decreases and many important brain functions weaken and disappear.
Several studies in recent years have shown that physical activity, especially that of the legs, increases the production of substances called neurotrophins, which repair and protect neurons from decay and promote the growth of new neurons.
Exercise cannot cure dementia, but it slows its progression. If you exercise from a young age, you will delay or prevent dementia.
Exercise sharpens memory
Regular physical activity enhances the ability to learn, store new data and remember old ones. Moderate exercise enhances the production of neurons in the hippocampus, two thumb-sized structures and cavalry-like structures.
These structures deep in the brain are crucial for human learning and memory, as well as for coping with space.
Exercise moderately, but for at least 45 minutes, five to seven days a week. If you do not always manage to put a quarter of an hour into the schedule, work out as long as you can, and return the full duration the next day.
The chemicals released during and after exercise bring a sense of warmth and bliss to helping those who are anxious to calm down and depressed to get well.
Conclusion of the correlation between exercise and mental health
Many take exercise to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle mass, burn calories, and lose weight, but judging by the results of the last fifteen years, it is equally advisable to exercise to improve brain function and mental health.
So do you – you’ll get the first results in less than a week!
Also read: How to improve mental health?
Irena is a dentist from Croatia, working extensively in her field, but she also has a high interest in the fields of fitness, nutrition and medicine in general. She has been educating herself about how to lead a healthy lifestyle for years. She seeks to help people adopt healthy habits as well as healthy and positive thinking about life. In her spare time, she hikes, runs, plays saxophone and guitar, and develops her own websites – Salubrius Vita and GoalDigger. Her life motto is: When they expect a lot from you, you do even more.