Exercise And Your Mental Health
Did you know that exercise is not just good for your physical health, but it can also have a positive impact on your mental well-being?
Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood and cognitive function, and promote overall psychological well-being.
And there are many different ways to get active, from joining a sports team to going for a walk or run. So whatever your fitness level or interests, there's sure to be an activity that's right for you. And the benefits of exercise don't stop there.
Trust us- as colder and darker seasons roll around, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) rears its ugly head.
SAD negatively impacts mental health by triggering depression, anxiety, and low energy levels.
But according to research, one of the most effective treatments for SAD is also one of the simplest and most accessible: exercise.
So if you're feeling down this winter, make sure to get up and get moving- your mental health will thank you for it!
Wondering what else makes exercise so great for your peace of mind?
Read on more to find out why.
What Makes Exercise Good For Your Mental Health
Exercise is not only good for your physical health as we mentioned above, but it also has numerous benefits for your mental health. Here are the most compelling reasons why exercise is good for your mental health:
Exercise Releases Endorphins
Exercise is well-known for its ability to improve mood and fight depression. One reason for this is that exercise releases endorphins, feel-good brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that are responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. When endorphins are released, they bind to receptors in the brain, producing a feeling of euphoria.
In addition to their mood-boosting effects, endorphins also have a number of other benefits. They can help to reduce pain, and increase immunity. With so many benefits, it's no wonder that exercise is often recommended as a way to improve mood and mental health.
To see this in action, you need to experience the "Runner's High".
The feeling commonly known as the "runner's high" has been described as a sense of euphoria, well-being, and increased pain tolerance.
It is often associated with long-distance running or other strenuous exercises. The runner's high is thought to be caused by the release of endorphins, which are hormones that act as natural painkillers. Endorphins are released in response to pain or stress, and they can produce feelings of happiness and euphoria.
In addition to providing pain relief, endorphins have also been shown to increase feelings of well-being and calmness. So, next time you hit the pavement for a long run, don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling happier and more relaxed than when you started.
Exercise Improves Sleep Quality
Poor sleep quality is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety and depression, and can also trigger the same. It's a vicious self-regulating cycle.
Getting a good night's sleep is essential for both physical and mental recuperation.
And guess what? Exercise is a great way to improve the quality of your sleep.
For one thing, it helps to regulate the body's sleep-wake circadian cycle. Secondly, exercise promotes deeper and longer periods of slow-wave sleep, which is when the body rests and repairs itself.
Finally, research has shown that people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience insomnia. Maybe it's because you're just too worn out after the day that your mind shuts down fast- regardless of the mechanism if you're looking for ways to get a better night's sleep, make exercise a part of your regular routine. You'll be glad you did!
If you're still struggling to get a good night's sleep, DREAMZZZ, our safe and natural sleep aid containing melatonin, GABA, and passion flower can help you get much-needed shut-eye, without the risk of it being habit-forming.
Exercise Can Help to Increase Your Energy Levels
Just how does energy correlate to mental health? People that suffer from depression tend to experience lethargy or a profound sense of hopelessness. The motivation to do anything is non-existent.
When you exercise, your body goes through a lot of changes. Your heart rate increases, you breathe faster, and your muscles use more energy. All of these changes result in an increase in your overall energy levels. In particular, exercise has been shown to increase levels of ATP, the primary source of energy for all cells in the body.
Exercise also helps to increase the production of mitochondria, which are responsible for generating ATP. In addition, exercise promotes the release of hormones like adrenaline and endorphins, which can give you a temporary boost of energy. Over time, regular exercise can help to increase your overall energy levels by improving the efficiency of your body's energy production systems.
If you need a little push to get up and go, our long-lasting no-crash energy-boosting supplement in Dawn to Dusk can do just that to really help you cultivate the discipline to exercise daily.
Exercise Can Help to Improve Your Concentration and Memory
Do you feel that your short-term memory isn't what it should be? or that you're easily distracted?
People diagnosed with a mental health disorder are more likely to have problems with concentration and memory than the general population.
But there's good news- exercise has been shown to help improve both concentration and memory.
In one study, participants who underwent an aerobic exercise regimen showed improvements in measures of working memory and executive function (the ability to plan, organize, and solve problems).
Other studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
It could be that enhancing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain helps to preserve cognitive function. Or it could be that the benefits of exercise are due to the release of hormones like BDNF and endorphins, which have been shown to improve cognitive function.
Whatever the mechanism, if you're looking for ways to improve your concentration and memory, make sure that exercise is part of your routine
Exercise Can Help Promote Self-esteem And a Positive Body Image
Exercise can help to improve your self-esteem and body image in a number of ways.
For one thing, exercise can help you to achieve your ideal body weight and composition. If you're carrying around extra weight, shedding those pounds can do wonders for your self-esteem.
In addition, exercise can help to tone and sculpt your body, giving you a more toned and fit appearance. This can lead to an improved body image, even if you don't lose any weight.
But the benefits of exercise on self-esteem and body image go beyond the physical. Exercise has also been shown to improve mood and increase feelings of well-being.
People that exercise regularly feel greater satisfaction with their appearance and have a more positive body image than those that don't exercise.
It's an effective way to combat your insecurities.
Exercise Can Be A Fun And Social Activity That You Enjoy With Friends Or Family Members
Social withdrawal is a common manifestation in people with poor mental health. Yes, there are introverts, but symptoms of actual withdrawal are much worse than a preference. This is why exercise done in a group setting can be so beneficial.
It gives you a chance to interact with others in a positive way and can help to stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness.
In addition, group exercise can provide a sense of community and support that can be vital for people struggling with mental health issues.
The accountability will help you adhere to your workout plan, and just being around others that look forward to your presence can mean a lot.
Gaining A Larger Sense Of Purpose
A sense of purpose is essential to our mental and physical well-being. It gives our lives direction and meaning, and it motivates us to keep going when the going gets tough. People with a strong sense of purpose are more likely to live longer, healthier lives. They're also more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction with their lives overall.
There are many ways to gain a larger sense of purpose. For some people, it comes from their religious or spiritual beliefs. Others find it through their work or volunteer activities. You might be able to do so with exercise as well.
Think about how good you feel after completing a difficult workout. That sense of accomplishment can be addictive and can help to give you a sense of purpose and drive
In addition, the benefits that you experience from exercise can help to motivate you to keep going. When you see how much better you feel mentally and physically, it's easier to keep up with your workout routine.
How To Get Started With an Exercise Routine
Making the decision to start an exercise routine is a great first step toward improving your overall health. However, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you get started on the road to fitness:
1. Set realistic goals. Don't try to do too much too soon - slow and steady progress is the key to success.
2. Find an activity that you enjoy. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, you're not going to stick with it for long. Choose an activity that you can see yourself doing on a regular basis.
3. Start slowly and build up gradually. It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Increase the intensity and duration of your workouts gradually over time.
4. Make it a habit. Once you've established a regular exercise routine, make it part of your daily or weekly routine so that it becomes automatic. This will make it much easier to stick with in the long term.
5. Get some support. Enlisting the help of a friend or family member can make starting an exercise routine much easier. Having someone to motivate and encourage you can make all the difference.
There Is No One-Size Fits All Rule
Trying out different types of exercise is a great way to find what works best for you. Not only will you be able to discover what you enjoy, but you'll also be able to find activities that are best suited to your fitness level and goals.
If you're not sure where to start, why not try a few different things and see what you think? A good place to start is by trying out a few different classes at your local gym or studio. Or, if you prefer to exercise outdoors, you could go for a jog, try a new hiking trail, or even sign up for a dance class. By exploring different types of exercise, you're sure to find something that you enjoy and that helps you meet your fitness goals.
Exercise is a great way to improve your mental health. It can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and it can also increase your sense of purpose and satisfaction with life. However, it's important to find an activity that you enjoy and that fits your fitness level and goals.
Any type of exercise will help better your mental health, so the most important thing is to start now.