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Exercise and Mental Health: Benefits on Mental Health

Exercise is among the best natural remedies for various health issues. With exercise, you are guaranteed of healthy heart, better physical appearance, and mood

By now, everyone knows that exercise is good for their body. But besides ensuring a healthy heart and flexible joints, did you know that physical activities can enhance your mental health and wellbeing? Read along to learn more about exercise and mental health. 

Exercise and Mental Health

The benefits of exercise are endless, from ensuring that one remains in great shape to trimming the waistline, improving sex life, and enhancing better sleep. In fact, exercise has the magic to add more years too. However, these are not only the reasons why more people choose to make exercise part of their lives.

Most people are aware that by exercising regularly, they feel lively and in a better mood. Exercise makes one feel more energetic throughout the day, feel relaxed, be more attentive, have better sleep, and have a positive perspective about themselves and their general lives.

Additionally, regular exercise has lots of benefits in improving mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, stress, and ADHD. As earlier mentioned, regular exercise enhances better sleep, improves memory hence boosting your general mood. The best thing is that you don’t need to be a fitness pro to gain these benefits.

According to research, even a modest amount of exercise is beneficial. Whatever your age is or how enthusiastic you are when it comes to exercise, you can use your exercise to help improve mental health and general health.

Exercise and Depression

According to statistics, exercise is believed to improve symptoms of mild to moderate depression with the same effect as antidepressants, and to top it all, exercise has no side effects. For instance, a recent study conducted by the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health determined that a 15 minutes run a day or an hour of walking can actually reduce the risk of major depression by 26%. The research also indicated that one should maintain an exercise schedule to improve depression symptoms and prevent relapse.

Exercise is a better depression improver for several reasons. Moreso, since it promotes different kinds of changes in the brain such as neural growth, reducing inflammation, and ensures activity patterns that promote feelings of calmness and general well-being. Exercise also releases endorphins – a chemical in one’s brain that makes one feel more energized and calm. Additionally, exercise acts as a destruction tool that allows you to break from stressors that may lead to depression.

Exercise and Stress

Stress is inevitable. However, frequent stress that stays for an extended period can lead to serious health issues. Stress causes muscle intensity, especially on your face, shoulders, and neck, resulting to back or neck pain. Stress also causes severe headaches. During the stress period, you may experience chest tightness, muscle cramps, or a pounding pulse. Insomnia, stomachache, heartburn, frequent urination, or diarrhea are also common during the stress period. The discomfort brought by these symptoms may increase your stress levels, making you feel even more uncomfortable.

Luckily, exercise can improve all these symptoms. Physical activities ensure a release of endorphins in the brain, making your muscle relax and relieve tension in your body. Since your body and mind are closely related, when your body relaxes, so does your mind, and vice versa.

Exercise and Anxiety

Exercise is the best natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It decreases tension and stress, enhances mental, physical energy, and general well-being by releasing endorphins in the brain. Any physical activity can be beneficial, but you are guaranteed more benefits when you are consistent and abide by your schedule.

While exercising, you should pay close attention to your movements. For example, listen to your feet hitting the ground, the rhythm of your heartbeat and breathing, and the feeling of the wind on your skin. Focusing on your exercise ensures that you shift your mind from stressors and relieve you from worries.

Exercise and ADHD

Frequent exercise is among the best and most effective ways of improving symptoms of ADHD. It also improves motivation, concentration, mood, and memory. While exercising, levels of brains dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine are immediately boosted- neurotransmitters that enhance attention and focus. Exercise is believed to work the same way as ADHD medication such as Adderall and Ritalin.

Ways Exercise Is Beneficial To Mental Health

Exercise is not only beneficial to those with mental problems. Physical activities can also enhance other mental activities boosting your mood and general well-being. Exercise can enhance:

Better Sleep

A small amount of morning or evening exercise can regulate your sleep pattern. Whether you prefer jogging in the morning or evening walk by the beach, be sure to have a good sleep.

Sharp Memory and Thinking

Exercise enhances the production of neurotransmitters such as endorphins that ensures you are in a better mood. These transmitters also ensure that you are mentally sharp. With regular exercise, your worries for concentration are sorted out.

Related: Brain Exercise That Can Boost Your Mental Capability 

More Energy

Exercising will ensure that you feel more energetic and ready to face daily activities. Start small as you increase your workout as you feel more energetic.

Higher Self-Esteem

Regular exercise enhances your appearance and mental well-being. As you achieve even small exercise goals, you feel a sense of achievement. With a great body shape and great spirit, you feel more beautiful and powerful.

Stronger Resilience

Sometimes in life, we are faced with hardships. It’s during these times when most people seek refuge in alcohol and risky behaviors. However, instead of engaging in harmful behaviors, turn to exercise. The exercise engages your body and mind ensuring that you are disrupted from your stressors.

Exercise and Mental Health – Final Thought

Exercise is among the best natural remedies for various health issues. With exercise, you are guaranteed of healthy heart, better physical appearance, and mood. For better results of exercise, you should maintain your schedule and be focused. Whenever you feel agitated, gather some strength for some jogging or a walk, and you won’t regret it.

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Samuel Njoroge

AUTHOR: Samuel Njoroge

Samuel (he/him) is a freelance writer, blogger, copywriter, and marketer. And a career spanning three years and enjoys crafting error-free content that increases subscriptions and sales. Samuel excels in mental health, self-improvement, technology, and marketing topics.