Everyone knows that daily exercise helps keep you active and physically fit. But did you know that it also has benefits for your mental health? In fact, the gap between exercise and mental health isn’t as far as you might think.
Research has found that exercise helps people who are struggling with mild to moderate depression. Exercise has also been known to help people with anxietyand can relieve tension and stress. But how exactly does exercise accomplish all of these things?
What’s the link between exercise and mental health?
The reason why exercise has such a positive effect on mental health is it causes your body to produce endorphins and enkephalins. These are your body’s natural “happy hormones,” which help your brain handle problems and hurdles better.
For people who are suffering from depression, exercise can also do a lot of good. While exercise can’t replace medication and therapy, it does help ease a person’s depression, especially for mild to moderate cases.
Exercise can also help people who are suffering from anxiety. That’s because whenever you’re doing any physical activity, your brain starts to focus on the exercise that you’re doing. This helps you become more mindful, which prevents any negative thoughts from popping up in your head. Instead of focusing on negative and hurtful thoughts, you’re focusing on your exercise.
Another big thing that exercise helps you with is your self-esteem. Physical activity has been found to improve a person’s self-worth, which in turn can improve a person’s well-being. A lot of people who engage in moderate physical activity have higher self-esteem compared to others who don’t exercise as much.
Exercise does a lot of good for your overall health
Aside from the benefits for your mental health, exercise can also make your brain healthier. That’s because exercise can improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your brain. This in turn helps your brain create more connections, which can help improve your memory and problem-solving skills.
Exercise also helps you deal with stress. These days, stress ranks among the top causes of health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, and many more. People who exercise daily have been found to be less stressed out and are more physically fit.
The great thing about exercise and mental health is that even a small amount of exercise will do you a world of good. Simple things such as walking instead of driving, taking the stairs, and going out for a jog or a walk are just as beneficial to your mental health as an intense workout session. Even walking your dog or going out for lunch when you’re at work can contribute a lot to your health.
The important thing is that you do your best to make time for exercise. An hour of exercise each day is plenty and can significantly improve your health and well-being. You don’t even need to go to a gym, as even some basic workouts at home can have the same effect on your health.