The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
You already know that exercise is good for your body. But did you know it can also boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and more?
What are the advantages of exercise for mental health?
It’s not just about aerobic ability and muscle mass when it comes to exercise. Yeah, exercise will enhance your physical health and physique, help you lose weight, improve your sexual life, and even add years to your life. However, most people are not inspired to remain involved by this.
People who exercise on a regular basis do so because it makes them feel incredibly good. They are more energetic throughout the day, sleep well at night, have better memories, and are more happy and confident about themselves and their lives. It’s also an important therapy for a number of mental health problems.
Regular exercise has been shown to benefit people with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It also makes you relax, improves your memory, sleep better, and improves your overall mood. You don’t have to be a sports addict to enjoy the rewards. According to study, even small amounts of exercise can make a big difference. You should learn to use exercise as a stress reliever regardless of your age or fitness level.
Depression and exercise
Exercise has been shown in research to be as effective as antidepressant treatment in treating mild to moderate depression—without the side effects, of course. For instance, a recent study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discovered that running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour each day decreases the risk of major depression by 26%. In addition to alleviating depressive symptoms,
Anxiety and exercise
Exercise is an anti-anxiety therapy that is both natural and successful. Through the release of endorphins, it relieves anxiety and stress, increases physical and mental vitality, and improves overall well-being. Something that gets you going will help, but paying attention rather than tuning out will have a greater value.
Stress and workout
Have you ever noticed how your body responds to stress? Your muscles, especially those in your face, neck, and shoulders, can be tight, causing back or neck pain, as well as painful headaches. You may experience chest tightness, a pounding heart, or muscle cramps. Insomnia, heartburn, stomachache, diarrhea, or excessive urination are also potential side effects.
Exercise and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Regular exercise is one of the most easy and effective ways to relieve ADHD symptoms and improve focus, motivation, memory, and mood. Physical activity increases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain, all of which influence concentration and attention. In this way, exercise is similar to ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Amphetamine.
Exercise and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Trauma
Evidence indicates that concentrating on the body and how it feels when exercising will help the nervous system become “unstuck” and begin to move out of the immobilization stress response associated with PTSD or trauma. Instead of allowing your mind to wander, concentrate on the actual sensations in your joints and muscles, including your inability to move.
Exercise can help provide:
–Sharper memory and thinking
Easy ways to move more that don’t involve the gym
Don’t have a 30-minute block of time to dedicate to yoga or a bike ride? Don’t worry. Think about physical activity as a lifestyle rather than just a single task to check off your to-do list. Look at your daily routine and consider ways to sneak in activity here, there, and everywhere.
<Move in and around your home. Clean the house, wash the car, tend to the yard and garden, mow the lawn with a push mower, sweep the sidewalk or patio with a broom.
Sneak activity in at work or on the go. Bike or walk to an appointment rather than drive, use stairs instead of elevators, briskly walk to the bus stop then get off one stop early, park at the back of the lot and walk into the store or office, or take a vigorous walk during your coffee break.
Get active with the family. Jog around the soccer field during your kid’s practice, make a neighborhood bike ride part of your weekend routine, play tag with your children in the yard, go canoeing at a lake, walk the dog in a new place.
Get creative with exercise ideas. Pick fruit at an orchard, boogie to music, go to the beach or take a hike, gently stretch while watching television, organize an office bowling team, take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga.