How Exercise Can Improve Your Mental Health
It has been drummed into us all our lives that taking regular exercise is good for the body’s health and fitness. Exercise helps the blood to flow around your body and contributes significantly to weight loss, the health of muscles and bones as well as your skin’s health. However, many are unaware that exercise is also remarkably good for the mind; whether you suffer from mental health issues or not, getting your recommended amount of daily exercise (30 minutes) is extremely beneficial. Medical research has substantially proven the mental health benefits of exercise. Whether it’s running, walking, mountain biking, yoga, Pilates or any other form of exercise you enjoy, they are all highly valuable to your mental health. We have put together some of the more significant benefits exercise can have on your mental health.
Better Quality Sleep
Exercise is designed to tire your body out which makes for a better night’s sleep. Even short bursts of exercise each day can have a great impact on regulating your sleeping pattern. By making stretching or yoga part of your nightly routine before going to bed you can significantly improve the quality of your sleep.
When you are stressed out, your body feels exhausted and tense all the time, making it seem impossible to do even the simplest of things. You can feel stiff and sometimes experience tightness in your chest, as well as muscle cramps or spasms. These physical symptoms often lead to even more emotional stress, which compounds a terrible cycle for your body and mind.
Ensuring you take regular exercise is a very positive way to beat this cycle. Physical activity releases endorphins in your brain, which help to soothe your muscles and relax your mind. These endorphins also help you to feel more positive about yourself and your situation, whatever it may be.
A direct result of regular exercise is an improved state of health and fitness. Naturally, this means a more attractive and toned physical appearance, which has a positive impact on your self-esteem.
Getting in shape means you’ll feel better and less self-conscious about your appearance, which enhances your feeling of self-worth and makes you feel much stronger. Furthermore, exercise
goals help you to feel as though you are achieving something, which is also a positive feeling when it comes to your mental health.
An Improved Memory
It is widely unknown that by keeping to regular health and fitness routine you can improve your memory. Those exact same endorphins that aid in improving your self-esteem also have a tremendous impact on your memory, stimulating the growth of new cells in your brain and helping to prevent some of the inevitable mental decline that comes with getting older. This also allows a huge boost for your concentration levels as well as your memory span.
Stronger mental and physical resilience
Exercise is proven to help you out when facing the big and small challenges that are hurled at us all in everyday life. Instead of coping with alcohol or cigarettes, get out in the fresh air and indulge in some exercise to promote health and fitness.
Physically toughening up helps you to mentally toughen up, meaning you are able to take a great deal more of life’s problems in stride. Taking regular exercise also toughens your physical resilience by strengthening your immune system, making you less susceptible to illness.
Getting plenty of exercise may leave the body feeling tired in the short term but it can actually give it an energy boost. If you increase your heart rate a few times each week, you will feel an increase in endorphins that will give your body more energy throughout the day. Increasing the amount of exercise you get each week will make you feel more energised.
Studies have shown that mild to moderate cases of depression can be cured as effectively through exercise as with medication. The only difference is there aren’t any side-effects to exercise.
The endorphins that pump to your brain enhance your self-esteem, making you feel much better about yourself, and maintaining a regular exercise routine can even prevent you from relapsing back into feeling depressed.
Exercise promotes neural growth, reduced inflammation and promotes calming emotions, which gives you a greater sense of wellbeing. Not to mention the fact that exercise is also a productive distraction from the aspects of life that may be causing stress or worry.
If you don’t already exercise, it is best to take it slow and build up gradually, helping your body to get used to this new regime so you do not end up feeling overwhelmed. Yoga and breathing exercises are perfect ways to start and there are countless yoga techniques for all ages and abilities.
If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.