We all know that regular exercise can keep us physically fit. However, fewer people focus on the benefits of exercise for our mental health. In fact, through regular exercise we can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety and depression that we feel in our day-to-day lives.
If you have been feeling depressed, uninspired or tired recently and you haven’t been getting much physical activity in, go take a hike! Why? Because exercise releases endorphins in our body which make us feel better immediately. Getting outside and moving is also a great distraction from the things that makes us feel depressed. You may have noticed that after exercising your mood feels more focused and upbeat.
Besides feeling better about yourself because your clothes fit well or you look good in a bikini, exercise boosts your self-confidence in other ways. As you get stronger you’ll be able to accomplish more, you’ll especially notice the difference if you train for a marathon, go to yoga every day for one month or join a crossfit class. Many activities are also great ways to make friends, such as biking, dance or surfing.
When you are under extreme stress, the muscles in your body become tense, which can result in back and neck pain, headaches and insomnia. Your heart rate may be higher and your organs don’t function as well. Exercise relieves tension in your body as well as releasing impurities through your sweat. If you have a lot of pent up stress or feelings, kickboxing can be a great relief.
Regular exercise is proven to keep us happy and healthy. Your heart, skin, lungs and mind all work better when you exercise, and the happier mood it puts you in also prevents you from getting sick.
The older we get, the greater our chance of acquiring cognitive diseases. Exercise helps keep your mind active and sharp. With regular exercise you release chemicals in your brain which prevent degeneration of the hippocampus. As a result, your brain lasts longer.
These are just some of the benefits that exercise can provide for your mental health. Exercising is not just about having a great physique, it’s about having a great mind as well.