Exercise and its positive influence on mental health

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Exercise and mental health

Exercise is one of the best things in the world which you can do. It has a lot of health benefits, not only for your physical health, but also for your mental health too. When you are exercising, your brain is stimulating chemicals which can improve your mood and the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory and learning. In many studies are shown that moderate levels of exercise are best for most people, so you do not have to suffer to get results. Exercise can help you when you feel depressed, anxious, stressed or you have mental or emotional problems. Exercise will give you energy, so you feel instantly much better. Find something that you enjoy in.

Exercise and physical activity have many health benefits, such as

  • Help you to lose weight if you want to, which is very effective for the overall health and it can be good for your self – esteem
  • It can help you to recover from a stroke and many other conditions and illnesses
  • It can help to reduce the risk of illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart and lung disease
  • Help you to feel better even if you are feeling okay

Benefits of exercise on mental healthExercise benefits on mental health

When you are exercising, then this is releasing chemicals, like endorphins and serotonin which can improve your mood. Also, it can get you out in the world, help to reduce any feeling of isolation and loneliness and it can put you in touch with other people. When you are exercising regularly, then this can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression and it can help you to recover from mental health issues. Also, it will help you to improve your sleep, which is very important for you in many different ways.

Sharper memory and thinking

The same endorphins which make you to feel better can also help you to concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Also, exercise can stimulate the growth of new brain cells and it can help to prevent the age – related decline.

Higher self – esteem

The regular physical activity is an investment in your soul, mind and body. When exercise becomes habit, then it can foster your sense of self – worth and it can make you to feel strong and powerful. Also, you will feel better about your appearance. Even by meeting small exercise goals, you will feel a sense of achievement.

Better sleep

Even if you have short bursts of exercise in the morning or afternoon, then it can help you to regulate your sleep patterns. If you prefer to exercise at night, then relaxing exercises, such as gentle stretching or yoga can help you to sleep better at night.

More energy

When you are increasing your heart rate several times a week, then this will help you to get more energy for doing daily tasks. You should start off with just a few minutes of exercise per day and you should increase your workout as you feel more energized.

Stronger resilience

When you are faced with mental or emotional challenges in your life, then exercise can help you to cope in a healthy way, instead of resorting to drugs, alcohol and other negative behaviors that ultimately only make your symptoms worse. Also, regular exercise can help you to boost your immunity and it can help to reduce the impact of stress.

Exercise and the mind

When you are exercising, then this pumps blood to your brain and it can help you to think more clearly. This can increase the size of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for memory. Also, it can help to increase the connections between the nerve cells in the brain. This will improve your memory and it can help to protect your brain against disease and injury.

Exercise and time

Many Australian experts say that adults need to do at least thirty minutes of moderate to intensive physical activity on most or all days of the week. Also, you can make up thirty minutes over the day by combining shorter ten to fifteen minute sessions. You may think that you have to do exercise for hours and hours, but you should not do as much as you think. Even a little bit of exercise is better than nothing. While you are exercising, you should practice mindfulness, because this will reduce your stress and it can help you to improve your mental health. If your money is making worries for you, then you should think about local community centers, which are often affordable and offer affordable exercise groups. If you have a private health insurance, then you might get help for the gym memberships as part of a mental health care plan. You may find hard to stay motivated for exercise or finding a motivation. You should think about ways that can make your exercise part of the daily routine and lifestyle. You should choose something in which you are enjoying and you should ask your friends or family to help motivate you to keep on track. If you have a dog, then you can take it for walks in your local area. You should combine exercise routine with a healthy diet to boost your motivation and energy for exercise.

Exercise and depression

In many studies are shown that exercise can help to treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medications. But, exercise will not cause you side effects. In one study was found that running for fifteen minutes a day or walking for an hour can help to reduce the risk of major depression by 26%. Exercise can give you a relief from the depression. But, when you maintain an exercise schedule, then this can help to prevent you from relapsing. It has been shown that exercise is a powerful depression fighter for so many reasons. The most important thing is that exercise can help to promote all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth and reduced inflammation and new activity patterns which can help to promote feelings of calm and well – being. Also, exercise helps to release endorphins, which are powerful chemicals in your brain which can energize your spirits and it can make you feel good. Also, exercise can serve as a distraction, which will allow you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.

Exercise and anxiety

It has been found that exercise is a natural and effective anti – anxiety treatment. Exercise can help you to get a relief from the tension and stress. It will boost the physical and mental energy. It will enhance well – being through the release of endorphins. Anything that gets you moving can help you. But, you will get bigger benefit if you pay attention instead of zoning out. You should try to notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground. For example, you can feel the sensation of the rhythm of your breathing or the feeling of the wind on your skin. When you add this mindfulness element (this means that you are really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise) you will not only improve your physical problems faster, but you may also be able to interrupt the flow of constant worries running through your head.

Exercise and stress

If you ever noticed how your body feels when you are under stress, then you know that your muscles are tense, especially in your face, neck and shoulders. This is leaving you with back or neck pain or painful headaches. You may feel tightness in your chest, muscle cramps or a pounding pulse. Also, you can experience problems such as frequent urination, diarrhea, stomachache, heartburn and insomnia. The discomfort of all these physical symptoms and the worry can turn lead in even more stress, which is creating a viscous cycle between your mind and body. One of the most effective ways for breaking this cycle is exercising. It will release endorphins in your brain, but also, the physical activity can help to relax your muscles and tension in your body. The body and the mind are so closely linked, so when your body feels better, then your mind feels better too.

Exercise and ADHD

One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD and improve the mood, memory, motivation and concentration is exercising regularly. The physical activity can immediately boost the serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain and all of them affect focus and attention. In this way, exercise will work in much the same way as ADHD medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1424736/pdf/pubhealthrep00100-0085.pdf
  2. https://www.karger.com/Article/PDF/223730
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

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