Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

 

While the benefits of exercise for physical health are well known, fewer people are well aware of what regular exercises can do for one’s overall mental health. Not all people recognize that working out stimulates chemicals in the brain that help improve your mood, memory and learning.

So you see, regular exercising can not only help you look better, but it can likewise help you feel better too.

Prevent Cognitive Decline

It’s a fact that as we get older, our brains can get a little...hazy. As aging as well as degenerative diseases would kill off brain cells, losing important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t technically cure degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, having a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or slow down cognitive decline that begins after age 45. Working out boosts the chemicals in the brain that help prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, a critical part of the brain for memory and learning.

Natural Anxiety Treatment

Exercising releases endorphins, which generate the feelings of happiness and euphoria. That’s why it is a very effective anti-anxiety treatment. For this reason, many doctors recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety exercise more frequently. Being physically active can be just as effective as antidepressant pills. Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself a gym rat type. Working out at home for about 30 minutes a day can instantly boost your overall mood.

Reduce Stress

Do you notice how your body feels when you’re under stress? Your muscles might be tense, especially on your face, neck, and shoulders. You may feel tightness in your chest, a pounding pulse, heartburn, or muscle cramps. The discomfort can in turn lead to even more stress! Exercising is a great way to break this cycle. Engaging in physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieves tension in the body. When your body feels better, you’ll have a peace of mind.

Boost Brain Power

Exercise elevates the production of a neurotransmitter that can stimulate production of new brain cells. Both cardiorespiratory and strength training can help elevate the levels of this critical neurotransmitter. This means, working out not only helps your muscles become stronger, it can boost your brain power as well.

So make sure you stay active! Remember, you don’t really have to pay for an expensive gym membership or fitness classes to achieve the mental health benefits of exercising. You can be as healthy and fit at home as long as you are committed to working out regularly.