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8 benefits of daily exercise that may improve your mental health

8 benefits of daily exercise that may improve your mental health

Date : 4 Aug 2022

Mental Health Exercise

“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”― John Green

Exercise is not only meant for increasing your aerobic capacity or your muscle size/strength. Of course, exercising will improve your physical strength, build your physique, trim your extra fat, improve your sex life, increase your lifeline, and many more things. 

But that’s not all; exercising can improve your mental health and motivate you to live actively.

People who exercise every day feel more energetic throughout the day. They may have a good sleep at night, have sharp memories compared to same-age people, and may feel more relaxed and positive. 

Exercising is also a powerful remedy for many common mental health issues.

Regular exercise can boost your mental health as much as your physical health, profoundly impacting depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more severe mental disorders.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Albus Dumbledore

1. Exercise boosts your brain activity

Working out daily can build intelligence and strengthen your memory. There are multiple ways that exercise can boost your brainpower, and studies revealed that cardiovascular exercises could help you to create new brain cells, called neurogenesis. 

This process can improve your overall brain performance.

The process is also helpful for preventing cognitive decline and memory loss. Physical activity boosts creativity and mental energy. So if you need a severe mental boost, your best and quick option would be walking or jogging as much as you can.

2. Exercise can reduce stress

Did you have a rough day at the office? You can get out of the stress easily by spending a few hours in a gym.

One of the most common mental benefits of exercising is that you can kill your stress by working up a sweat. Exercising also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can reduce the brain’s response to stress.

So do not wait! Go ahead and get sweaty. Start your daily exercise, reduce stress and boost your body’s ability to wipe out existing mental issues!

Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master Life Coach Jacqueline Hurst added – “My top suggestion here is that any exercise is a great idea. It really doesn’t have to be hours at the gym, a small ten minute walk in nature can be of huge benefit to mental health. What is very important to remember is that moving your body, in a way that is effortless and enjoyable, is the best way to start. Don’t put too many harsh goals down. If you do that it will be less likely that you will want to do it, and in turn it just doesn’t get done.”

3. Exercising can reduce anxiety

Doing regular exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It helps you relieve tension and stress and boosts your physical and mental energy.

You may feel the sensation of your feet while hitting the ground. The experience you’ll get while running or walking, such as the rhythm of your heartbeat or the sense of the wind on your skin. 

These amazing effects not only improve your physical condition quickly but also help you to avoid or block the flow of constant worries coming to your head.

4. Exercising can increase self-esteem and self-confidence

Regular exercise can improve your endurance, help you to lose weight, and increase muscle strength. All those achievements can help you to boost your self-esteem and confidence. 

You’ll be able to do some hard physical and mental work that you couldn’t perform previously. Once you build up a daily habit of exercising, it’ll help you to spend quality time alone, and you also don’t experience the loneliness feeling in your mind. 

Trust me; it will happen to you before you realize it.

“What mental health needs are more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close

5. Exercising may help you in case of ADHD

Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD. A daily workout can improve your mood, concentration, and memory and motivates you to do things that you may consider too difficult for you.

Enough physical activities help increase your brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels, positively affecting your focus and attention.

6. Exercise helps you sleep better

If you have issues with a good night’s sleep, and facing insomnia, doing daily exercise may help you to treat that problem. 

Physical activity increases body temperature and has calming effects on your mind. This will lead to an effortless sleep with enough comfort.

Barry’s Bootcamp co-owner and Master Trainer Sandy Macaskill certainly believes that exercises can improve mental health:

“I’m no doctor, but anecdotal evidence from speaking to clients is that exercising is a great form of getting out of your head space for a period of the day, to stop stressing and to focus on something positive. And then there’s the endorphin hit you get from exercise which in my mind is the best part of it.”

“I think literally everyone has that moment when they walk into class, the music starts, the lights go down, the instructor takes over your thinking for 60 minutes, and you can simply switch off that little voice in your head. Instead of worrying about life’s problems, you concentrate your energy on achieving a target that you’ve set yourself, be it running a little faster or lifting a little heavier. I call it getting inside the ‘bootcamp bubble’. Then when everyone leaves they’re straight back on their mobiles. Everyone needs that hour of ‘me’ time, especially in hectic London.”

Daily workout also helps you to regulate your circadian rhythm, our bodies’ built-in alarm clock. So, daily activity is necessary for a night of improved sleep. But remember, experts, suggest that you shouldn’t exercise close to bedtime, ever.

7. Exercising can help you to handle PTSD and trauma

Experts suggest that by performing hardcore exercises, you can help your nervous system to focus and start to move out of the severe stress response, which symbolizes PTSD or trauma.

You need to focus on your body sensations Instead of allowing your mind to wander. Start exercising every day and, feel the tightening of joints and muscles, experience the warm feeling after walking or running. 

Try the exercises that involve both your arms and legs, such as walking and running, swimming, cycling, rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and skiing or dancing. 

You may even try sports like karate, boxing, soccer, or baseball—choose any of them you like to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.

8. Exercising helps to stop addiction

The brain releases dopamine, remember? This chemical creates a form of pleasure, which you may get from sex, drugs, alcohol, or food.

Unfortunately, many people become addicted to dopamine and are taking substances that produce it, such as drugs, alcohol, sex, and food. 

The latter two are also dangerous for physical health if they get out of control.

So, what are your chances? Yes, exercise, Dude!! It can help your brain to release enough dopamine that can help you to avoid other harmful substances. 

Once you avoid such substances, you’ll start recovering from addiction. Short exercise sessions can effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts, and it’ll make them control their cravings.

Psycle CEO and instructor Rhian Stephenson added that improving mental health is the prime focus of Psycle’s spin class concept:

“The psychological side was absolutely a consideration when we started Psycle – it’s just as important as the physical aspect to us! Exercise has been shown to significantly improve so many aspects of mental health; from stress relief to happiness to mental clarity and concentration and memory. It’s been proven to help anxiety and depression. It decreases stress hormones that affect our mood in a negative way and increases our happiness hormones. It helps with motivation, confidence and resilience. It has been shown to delay cognitive decline and dementia in the ageing population. It improves reasoning, problem solving skills and executive function…I could go on!”

“All of this was a part of the foundation of how we approach everything we do at Psycle. We didn’t want Psycle to be like so many other fitness concepts that focus on losing weight and getting ‘beach body ready.’ That happens either way. We wanted Psycle to be about energy, happiness, and pushing your limits.

Endnotes

Experts suggest you should do your workout close to nature, in the open-air areas as much as possible. A heart-pumping exercise session can’t be completed without breathing fresh air. 

It will boost your stamina for up to two hours afterward. 

So, interacting with nature may also help you to lower depression levels. 

Next time when you feel a bit anxious, stressed, or depressed, hit the park for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time. Good luck.

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