8 Mental Health Benefits Of Regular Exercise

8 Mental Health Benefits Of Regular ExerciseMental Health Benefits Of Regular Exercise

Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for the body. But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Exercise isn’t just for burning calories. Regular physical activity plays an important role in mental acuity and cognitive function, which can help support a positive outlook on life.

Most of us know the many physical benefits of exercise: weight control, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes, and increased energy, just to name a few. The benefits to your mental health can be equally as important

No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better.

Exercise And Mental Health Benefits

  1. Improves brain function. During exercise, it’s not just your muscles that receive a steady stream of oxygenated blood, but also your brain. This is why a challenging workout session can leave you feeling invigorated and mentally sharpened.
  2. Reduces stress. Exercising is an effective way to break the stress cycle. As well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so, too, will your mind. When you subject yourself to the stress of exercise enough, your body will eventually get better at handling the rest of life’s stressors.
  3. Self Esteem. When you don’t feel good about your body or how you look, it’s all too easy to have low self-esteem. Exercise will make you feel stronger, more independent, and more confident. There’s nothing like a boost in confidence to increase overall happiness.
  4. Better sleep. Staying active and exercising on a regular basis has been shown to improve sleeping problems of insomniacs and people with sleeping disorders.  Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep.
  5. Sharpen memory. Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Routine exercise increases the production of cells in the hippocampus which is responsible for memory and learning.
  6. Creativity. Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time.  A heart-pumping gym session can actually boost creativity for up to two hours afterward.
  7. Positive thoughts. Whenever you have unscheduled time, your thoughts have more potential to become negative. Using that time for physical activity can help redirect your thinking in a more positive and mindful direction.
  8. Relaxation. Studies have shown that any physical activity stimulates several chemicals in your brain that allow you to feel more relaxed.

The Takeaway

I’m sure you’ve heard countless times that exercising helps you gain energy and lose weight. Well, that is definitely true. But there are also mental health benefits to exercising, some that can be truly life-changing!

Regardless of age or fitness level, studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits.

Whether you need the motivation to get to the gym or to just take a brisk walk, the mental health benefits of physical activity will have you tying up your shoelaces and heading out the door.

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