We all know the altruism that regular exercise is really beneficial for the body. We’ve heard it a million times, we’ve read it a million times, and we know it to be a hundred percent true. But what most people don’t know is that exercise is also a great way of improving your mental health. Regular exercise can positively affect depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It has also been proven to help relieve stress, improve memory, quality of sleep and is generally beneficial for your overall mood. And the best part is that you don’t need to be obsessed with fitness if you want to reap all these benefits. Studies state that normal amount of regular exercise can make a huge difference.
What are the Benefits of Exercise
Fine, so exercise can help you with your physical health, you get a good physique, your waistline decreases, your sex life improves, and you add years to your life. These are all legitimate benefits of exercise and no one can deny them. But that is not the main reason why people go to the gym every day.
People who exercise on a regular basis usually do so because it brings with it a feeling of well-being. Exercise releases the feel good hormones which is a superb pick-me-up. Exercise helps them feel more energetic, it helps them sleep better, their cognitive actions become well, they are more relaxed and they feel positive about themselves and their lives in general.
A study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health observed that the risk of major depression was reduced by 26% by running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour. Other studies have found that regular exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as successfully as medication – but without the side effects. Research also shows that if you maintain your exercise schedule, it can help you from relapsing.
There are several reasons why exercise is a powerful tool against depression. Not only does it enhance neural growth, it also reduces inflammation, and promotes the feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases the feel good hormones in your body that help you feel good and energized.
Just like we discussed earlier, exercise releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin that relieve tension and stress and promote the feeling of well-being. But you have to make sure that you don’t zone out. You have to stay in the moment and feel all the things happening to you and around you. If you are mindful during your exercise, you can easily stop the flow of negative thoughts in your head.
Exercise can help improve concentration, memory, motivation, and mood. It also helps alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. Any type of physical activity increases the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, all of which increase focus and attention.
Outdoor activities are very effective and have been shown to reduce the signs of PTSD. You can select any activity like sailing, rock climbing, hiking, skiing, marathon, whitewater rafting or any other activity like that.
There is strong evidence to suggest that by focusing on your body and the feelings you get when you exercise, you can actually force your nervous system to move away from the usual stressful response that accompanies PTSD or trauma.
And the best part is that you don’t need to go to the gym to do it. You can easily do it at home. Nowadays there are numerous workout apps in the market that help you with your fitness routine. So basically, there are no more excuses left. All that is left is getting up and taking your first step towards better physical and mental health.