The way you feel each day greatly impacts your overall quality of life, including how well you perform at work, the relationships you maintain, and your general attitude toward life. However, while most people are aware that diet and sleep play an important role in mental health, many are unaware of the benefits of exercise in improving our minds as well as our bodies.
Here’s what you need to know about how exercise can improve your mental health.
Exercise Lowers Levels Of Depression
A recent study looked at 11,000 people and found that those who exercise regularly have a lower risk of depression. Exercise is particularly helpful for preventing depression after someone has experienced a stressful event, like a job loss or death in their family.
And we don’t just mean aerobic exercise—weight training has been shown to relieve signs of depression too! If you’re currently taking antidepressants and aren’t sure whether they’re working, you should definitely ask your doctor about adding exercise to your treatment plan. It can really help!
Exercise also boosts energy levels, so it’s a great way to combat fatigue and boost your mood. What are you waiting for? Contact us and get started in alleviating your depression today!
Exercise Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety is one of those mental health conditions that are most directly affected by exercise. There’s a reason exercise therapy is used in mental health care, and that’s because regular exercise can help you deal with anxiety, stress, and depression.
Even just 15 minutes per day has been shown to improve people’s ability to handle stress and manage depression. Running, cycling, swimming—whatever your favorite exercise is—getting out there can really help when it comes to dealing with stress-related symptoms. More than just helping manage anxiety, a strong body also helps reduce feelings of fear.
After all, if you feel good about yourself physically then it’s easier to believe that you have something good going on for yourself mentally as well.
When you exercise regularly, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good. And research shows that exercise can help people both feel more positive and think more clearly.
But aside from just helping a person’s mind and emotions, it can also help in ways you might not expect. For example, it improves a person’s ability to handle stressful situations. Research has shown that regular workouts improve a person’s ability to handle anger as well as anxiety.
So if you have an upcoming job interview or big meeting, getting in some exercise beforehand could be beneficial for your performance and stress levels during the event itself.
Exercising boosts mood
Get off your butt and exercise! Studies show that regular physical activity can improve symptoms of depression, even in people who don’t exercise at all. What’s more, just two 30-minute sessions a week can reduce symptoms by as much as 50%.
And if you’re not sure where to start, it doesn’t get any easier than squats and deadlifts: Just three sets of five reps each is enough to trigger a measurable mood boost. Adding some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) — say, sprinting for 60 seconds between 60-second jogs — boosts feelings of well-being even more.
Research has also found that cardio workouts like running or cycling can decrease depressive symptoms and brain activity associated with depression when performed regularly over time.
If you’re already a runner or powerlifter, there’s still more good news: Research shows that mood benefits continue for at least two weeks after exercising. In fact, people who exercise regularly report higher levels of overall well-being — including lower levels of anxiety and depression — than those who don’t workout.
The effects can even last for months after your last session, thanks to what scientists call exercise-induced endorphins. And if you work out with a buddy, you’ll get additional mental health benefits from social support.
Often, people see exercise as a way to change their appearance. But improving self-esteem doesn’t come from losing weight—it comes from feeling stronger and fitter, from using your body in new ways and learning that you have what it takes to work hard for what you want. What does physical fitness have to do with self-esteem?
The hip thrust is one example. When you incorporate hip thrusts into your routine, some interesting things happen physiologically; for one thing, hormone production changes dramatically.
Regularly engaging in physical activity can even have an impact on telomeres: Telomeres are like caps at the end of DNA strands that protect our chromosomes from damage—the longer they are, supposedly (though not definitively) longer we live!
The benefits of exercise are plentiful, and you’ll never know if you don’t try. It is, for many people, a secret elixir that can help you to lose weight, increase strength and even improve your mental health.
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine will not only improve your physique and cardiovascular health; it will make you feel stronger in other areas of life as well. If there is one supplement for self-esteem out there, exercise has to be it!
Better Sleep Patterns
While exercise won’t magically make you sleep longer, it can help you fall asleep faster and get a better night’s rest. That’s because when you sweat, your body releases endorphins—which are hormones that promote relaxation and calmness. Reach out to us for some especially good exercise routines for a good night of sleep.
If a good night’s sleep doesn’t sound appealing, you might consider what your lack of rest could mean for your physical health: studies show that not getting enough shut-eye increases risks for chronic illnesses, like heart disease.
Why is sleep so important? Studies show that getting enough shut-eye helps reduce stress, improves memory, and can even reduce fat storage! If you want to start sleeping better and seeing a difference in your overall health, try adding more daily activity into your routine.
Research shows that women who exercise for just 10 minutes a day, three times a week sleep 45 minutes longer per night.
It’s not just your overall health that gets a boost, either. Exercise has also been shown to boost levels of serotonin and dopamine—chemicals in your brain that help keep you happy and feeling good!
So, while sweating can be good for you in other ways, make sure you aren’t forgetting how important it is for your mental health too. While exercise can be a great pick-me-up when you need it most, try not to schedule workouts for early in the day; studies show that late afternoon and evening workouts are more likely to leave you feeling happier than getting up early to work out before work.
Improve Your Mental Health Today
If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, starting an exercise routine is the best thing that you can do. Our exercise programs are tailored for each individual, and that means that they will be more effective for your body type.