How does Exercise help with Mental Health?
We all are familiar with the physical benefits of exercise like losing weight — feeling great, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, lowering blood pressure, or adding bonus years to life.
Physical development in our bodies is apparent. But the bottom line is exercise can help with mental and cognitive improvements. Studies have shown that exercise helps with mental health by decreasing anxiety, sadness, and bad moods while improving your self-esteem.
Here, the point of focus is if exercise is taken regularly with the right intensity, you will be surprised to see its brilliant and powerful impact on mental wellbeing.
Sounds interesting, right? So without further ado, let’s dive into the mental health benefits of exercising right here.
1. Reduces Depressive Symptoms
A study done by Duke University stated that exercise is like an antidepressant and treats mild to moderate depression effectively. Wondering how?
Regular exercise releases chemical substance endorphins — the famous “feel good” hormones in your brain and spinal cord. Together with pain receptors in your brain, these endorphins reduce your feeling of pain.
2. Aids in Anxiety Management
People who exercise regularly tend to develop fewer symptoms of anxiety. The threat system of the brain controls anxiety — the amygdala. It is linked with emotional processing, continually scans for threats and, when they detect one, floods the body with adrenaline which results in faster breathing, and increased heart rate. Exercise helps to relax these muscles.
3. Foster Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
Exercise increases your self-esteem and boosts confidence in the five possible ways:
- Feeling fit physically makes you feel better mentally.
- Physical strength adds to your mental strength.
- More stamina leads you to achieve personal goals.
- Enhanced body image improves your self-image.
- Feel thoughtful and intelligent with a boost in thinking and focus.
4. Boosts Brain Power and Improves Cognitive Function.
A study conducted in 2009 states that regular exercise ensures improved brain functioning. When you exert yourself, your heart beats faster. Therefore, your heart pumps more oxygen because of increased blood circulation, eventually releasing hormones to create new brain cells — a process called neurogenesis. Moreover, it also helps prevent cognitive decline and loss of memory by strengthening the hippocampus, the brain area that oversees memory and learning.
5. Deep and Sound Sleep.
Have you been troubled in falling asleep or waking up occasionally in the middle of sleep? Surprisingly, our experts say exercise can help you to cope with that too. Moderate to regular exercise increases your body temperature, calming your mind and leading you to lesser sheep counting and more shuteye.
Key Takeaway — Make Exercise Part of Your Self Care.
Can’t seem to find the time to exercise throughout the week? Don’t worry. There’s a solution. The hardcore exercise routine is a myth now. Consider yourself a weekend warrior! The “weekend warrior” performs the predetermined limit of physical activity in one or two sessions each week. Get started to look better, feel better and draw more out of your life. Now it’s your turn!!