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Did you know exercise improves mental health? That’s right, exercise does more than tone muscles or improve cardio. Although, you may be tempted to hide at home in pj’s with ice cream and the remote, consider letting some exercise take away those blues.
Ways Exercise Improves Mental Health
Exercise benefits your body physically. It helps grow healthy muscles tissue, improves flexibility, strengthens bone and improves circulation. However, exercise goes farther by helping to improve mental health, too. Have you ever noticed how people who exercise regularly tend to be energetic, upbeat and positive? It’s because including exercise in their daily routine has helped their bodies and their minds.
Exercise & Depression
Exercise promotes changes to the brain that helps fight against depression. It helps neural growth and reduces inflammation. It gives a person feeling of well-being and calmness. Plus, it’s a good distraction from problems in one’s life that are pulling you down. By exercising you break away from old habits, like living an inactive lifestyle that had been feeding your depression.
Exercise & Stress
One of the best ways to relieve stress is exercise. That’s because it helps relieve that tension and stress from the body. And, it boosts the energy in your body and mind. Instead of your muscles being stiff and tense, you can use exercise to relieve the stress. Your body will feel relaxed and less likely to suffer insomnia, heartburn and stomach aches. You burn off the bad energy caused by the stress. You clear your mind a while which helps you to think about the situation more clearly. Most of all, it gives your mind a break from worrying continuously, helping quit that cycle.
Exercise & Anxiety
Anxiety can put a big snag in functioning in life. It makes you tense, your heart rate rises and various other symptoms show up, depending on the degree of anxiety. But, exercise, as a natural treatment, can help relieve the tension and stress causing these symptoms. You learn to follow the rhythm of your breathing during exercise. Also, like with depression and stress, exercise takes your mind from worry. This not only gives the body a well-needed break but also helps you create new habits of coping.
Even if you don’t usually suffer from depression, stress or anxiety, your mental health can still benefit. The endorphins that aid in making you feel good also help concentration and mental sharpness. Exercise improves your self image. When you exercise you generally feel better about your looks. You, also, feel better because you have a good habit in your life.
Your sleep will be improved by exercising. It helps improve sleeping patterns. Relaxing exercise before bed help promote sleep, too. You’ll notice more energy. And, that more energy helps you get more done in your day. That, in turn, helps you feel accomplishment. Generally when one exercises their overall health is improved. That includes immunity; you get sick less often. And lastly, it strengthens you. We all know it helps build muscle, but it also builds emotional and mental strength. Instead of falling back on old habits of binging on ice cream or chips when something has you stressed, you can face your problems with a clearer mind.
As always, take your mental health seriously. If you or a loved one is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, don’t try to face it alone. Talk with your doctor or mental health professional about your struggles.