Friday, April 10, 2015

7 mental health benefits of exercise.


As I wrote previously in my blog post “ 7 things you can do for your mental health “, if you want to improve your mental health you should also take care of your body. One way to take care of your body is to exercise. Research has shown that exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel and look better, so exercise can boost your brain functions.

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


1. Reduces stress.

Maybe you had a bad day, full with stressful moments. Take your time to relax. Go to the gym for a workout or just take a walk. The stress relief is one of the most common mental benefits of exercise. With exercising you can manage your physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases your norepinephrine concentration in your body, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So, don’t wait anymore. Start exercising from today and help your body to get rid of the stress.


2. Improves your mood.

Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. In some cases exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym rat type — getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost your mood.

3. Improve self-confidence.

On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve your positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person's perception of his or her attractiveness, that is, self-worth.

4. Prevent cognitive decline.

As we get older, our brains get a little hazy. Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.


5. Boost brainpower.


Various studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance. They suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking and learning.

6. Sharpen memory.


Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning.

7. Get more done.

Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers. While busy schedules can make it tough to squeeze in a gym session in the middle of the day, some experts believe that midday is the ideal time for a workout due to the body's circadian rhythms.

    There are so many other mental benefits of exercise, but I hope that these 7 will be enough to motivate and inspire you to start lead an active and healthy life.
















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