Discover the Benefits of Physical Exercise for Mental Health
Understand the benefits of physical exercise for mental health and improve your performance at the gym and in all areas of your life. Learn more!
If you’re looking for a elixir for mental health, know that it can be as simple as putting on your sneakers and taking a walk around the block. In fact, a multitude of research demonstrates the benefits of physical exercise for mental health, and that’s what we’re going to talk about.
In today’s stressful world, it’s common to experience discomforts such as back pain (especially in the lower back), headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, tremors, etc. These can be symptoms of pure and simple stress. Curable with a good run.
So, instead of seeking a magic pill, grab some weights, hop on a bike, or jump rope, and you’ll see that mental health is also on the other side of a good workout.
Want to know more about the effects of physical exercise on the brain? Keep reading!
Physical Exercise: Your New Ally for a Healthy Mind
Physical exercise and mental health go hand in hand. According to the Mayo Clinic, in the US, regularly engaging in cardiovascular activities can contribute to reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Moreover, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2021 suggests that a good run can have the same effect as antidepressant medications.
Just imagine that feeling of well-being that takes over the body after a particularly challenging activity. In addition to endorphins (our old friend), there’s also oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin.
And these 4 substances bring even more benefits.
Tangible and Immediate Benefits for Mental Health
Increased self-esteem, improved sleep, reduced stress—these are just some of the benefits of physical exercise for mental health.
It’s a positive cycle.
When you exercise, your body produces and releases endorphins, which I didn’t mention above, but they are also known as the happiness hormone. According to the American Psychological Association, the presence of endorphins not only improves your mood but also promotes a sense of well-being and self-confidence.
Which leads to the production of even more endorphins.
Promotion of Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Performance
Did you know that physical exercise can actually change the structure and function of your brain? A 2020 study from the University of Cambridge found that regular training promotes neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganize and form new neural connections throughout life.
It is neuroplasticity that allows you to learn things, develop skills, and achieve new results. However, it is hindered by stress. After all, just think about our origins.
A caveman being chased by a huge predator feels a lot of stress, he doesn’t need to learn anything, he just needs to run as fast as possible. Unfortunately, we live modern lives as if we’re always being chased by something. In other words, all this emotional burden hinders our development.
However, physical exercise clears the path for your brain to learn calmly. So, maintaining a routine of studying + exercising is the best formula for keeping the brain young and well-developed.
This means that physical exercise can increase cognitive capacity, improve memory, and concentration.
Physical Exercise and Mental Longevity
Aging is inevitable, but dementia and age-related cognitive decline don’t have to be. The journal Neurology published a study in 2019 showing that physically active people had a 36% lower risk of developing degenerative mental diseases compared to those who were sedentary.
Doing What You Love: The Key to Consistency
The benefits of physical exercise for mental health are vast, but consistency is key. Find an activity you enjoy—walking, dancing, yoga, or even gardening. Remember, it’s not about the intensity of the exercise, but rather the regularity.
The benefits of physical exercise for mental health are numerous and supported by studies. By incorporating regular physical activities into your routine, you’ll not only be taking care of your body but also your most valuable asset: your mind. So why not start today? Take the first step toward a healthier mind and a happier you.
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Thank you for reading, and see you next time! Sooro Renner – Nutrition that generates results.