Many people exercise to maintain or reduce weight, improve cardiovascular health, and build muscle. Regardless of the fitness level or age, studies show that exercise can enhance well-being in people.
Exercise boosts mental health by reducing negative mood, depression and reducing anxiety by improving cognitive function and self-esteem. According to the NCBI report on Exercise for Mental Health, “An essential component to lifestyle modification is exercise”. It has a positive effect on individuals with serious mental illness.
Studies have also shown that people at a high risk of chronic diseases associated with medication side effects and sedentary behavior, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia, can improve their mental health with exercise.
Thus, whether you need the motivation to visit the gym or workout at home, here are some great reasons why exercise is good for your mental health.
Are you having a rough day? Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Stress carry mental health risks, and not everyone can cope with it effectively, or even recover from it quickly.
However, a quick workout can relax your nerves and give you stress relief when you have a rough day. Exercise increases the production of norepinephrine, which moderate stress level in the brain. Work up a sweat and boost your body to deal with your mental health.
Natural happy chemicals boost
The natural happy chemicals are the secret to a happy brain. The brain chemicals include serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins and dopamine. When you exercise, it triggers the body to release endorphins. Endorphin is a chemical that creates feelings of euphoria and happiness.
People suffering from depression or anxiety are advised to exercise, to trigger this ‘happy’ chemical. Aerobic exercises, including swimming, cycling, jogging, walking, dancing, and gardening, have been proved to reduce depression and anxiety.
As we get older, the brain begins to lose its cognitive ability. While a healthy diet and exercise cannot cure aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, they can reduce cognitive decline.
Exercise boosts your brain to fight against the degeneration in the hippocampus, a part of the brain for learning and memory. Regular exercise can also help boost your memory, focus and concentration so that you can easily carry out your daily task. It also helps you new things and boost your vocabulary retention.
Cardiovascular exercise helps initiate neurogenesis, the process of creating new brain cells in the body. This exercise improves the overall performance of the brain. A tough workout can boost the levels of a brain-derived protein (BDNF) in the body. BDNF helps with learning, higher thinking, and decision-making.
Exercise can initiate the production of dopamine, the “reward chemical” in the brain. When you work out regularly, it can help in addiction recovery. For people suffering from alcohol, drugs, and other addictions, exercise can effectively distract them. Alcohol abuse can affect some of the body’s natural processes negatively, including circadian rhythms.
The circadian rhythms is an internal process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, it’s tied to your 24-hour clock. These rhythms have an intense effect on your mental health.Thus, alcoholics find it difficult to stay asleep or fall asleep without drinking. But when they exercise, it helps reboot their body clocks.
A moderate workout can improve your relaxation. Exercise is the equivalent of taking a sleeping pill for people who have insomnia. You can increase your activities a few hours before bedtime to raise your body’s core temperature. When your body temperature drops to normal, it initiates relaxation and signals the body to fall asleep.
Studies show that when people take time to work out regularly, they have more energy and become more productive than their sedentary colleagues become. The modern lifestyle of many of us is plagued with busy schedules. That makes it difficult to exercise or workout.
However, you can improve your energy level and get more work done when you squeeze in a workout session in the middle of the day. The midday exercise is believed to be the perfect time to improve the body’s circadian rhythms.
A heart-pumping workout can improve your creativity afterward. You can supercharge your post-workout motivation when you exercise outside and interact with nature. People seeking a burst of ideas or creativity can run or take a long walk to refresh the body and brain simultaneously.
Exercise has a positive impact on your mental health. When you exercise, you can alleviate tension, anger, fatigue, anger, and reduced vigor. For people suffering from PTSD, pain disorder, and other anxiety-related issues, exercise can be their proactive secret to calm tension and lessen the feeling of worry and fear.
Regular exercise sessions decrease the body’s sensitivity to overreacting to a crisis like anxiety. Exercise also reduces the frequency and intensity of pain attacks.
Hey Joyfreshers, what do you do to improve your mental health? Does exercise have any impact on your mental health? Kindly share your thoughts with us below.