Regardless of whether we are experienced athletes or have never stepped on a running track, pretty much everyone knows the physical benefits of exercising on the body. However, what is much less discussed is the plethora of mental health benefits of exercise.
The positive effects of exercise on the brain are diverse, powerful and proven. For example, did you know that exercise can not only improve your mood and sleep quality, but also increase your libido, relieve depression, and relieve anxiety? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
What are the psychological benefits of exercise?
People who exercise regularly not only look physically healthier and feel better in their own body, but also often experience deeper, more restful sleep and, on average, higher energy levels and a clearer head. Common mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and ADHD are also resolved with exercise – and it doesn’t require large amounts! Even moderate amounts of regular exercise can have significant effects.
Now let’s take a closer look at how exercise can affect various mental health problems.
The Influence of Movement on Fear
Extensive research has shown that exercise helps our bodies deal with anxiety by relieving tension and stress, naturally increasing our energy levels, and stimulating the release of endorphins that make us happy.
Mindfulness during training can amplify these positive effects and anchor us in the present.
By exercising this way, focusing on the precision of your movements and the way your body reacts, you can turn us away from negative thought patterns.
Exercise as an antidepressant
Exercise has been shown to relieve or completely resolve mild to moderate depression. Even better, unlike some depression medications, exercise is free of side effects … other than maybe a six-pack and a healthy glow. You don’t have to work a lot either.
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The Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health recently found that even a 15-minute jog (or an hour of walking) can reduce symptoms of depression by up to 26%.
There are several reasons why exercise is so great in treating depression. For starters, it promotes neural growth in the brain as well as new activity patterns associated with calmness and contentment. It also reduces inflammation and releases those lovely endorphins.
Reduce stress through exercise
The benefits of exercise extend to stress as well. Stress is a nightmare for our bodies: we tense up, get headaches, suffer from chest pains and a pounding heart, insomnia, and a host of other uncomfortable symptoms. Stress tends to make itself worse; The symptoms of stress lead to more worry, which leads to more symptoms.
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Exercise breaks this cycle. Movement not only feels better because of the released endorphins, but also trains our muscles, which can help with cramps, strain and tension due to stress.
Treating ADHD with Exercise
When we are physically active, your brain’s serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels rise instantly. This makes us feel happy and satisfied and can concentrate on one task. Many ADHD medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, work in a similar way to relieve symptoms of ADHD.
Exercise to Relieve PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized by the immobilization of stress reactions. Your body gets stuck and your nervous system starts to firm up. Exercise can alleviate this by creating physical sensations that your body can focus on and that you can ground. The best workouts for PTSD relief are those that work your entire body with your arms and legs. Think of swimming, running and dancing classes!
How to overcome things that are preventing you from exercising
In order to reap the full mental benefits of exercise, you must be prepared to overcome obstacles in your path. These include:
Often the last thing we want to do when we’re down is exercise. However, regular exercise has been shown to reduce fatigue by remarkable amounts. If you can motivate yourself to stand up, you can be sure that within minutes you will feel your indolence subside.
Feeling hopeless is a key symptom of depression. When you feel this way, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get off the couch or get out of bed. To get around this, start small – so small that you can’t possibly talk yourself out of it. Press up once or walk for a minute. Do two next time. Do a little, do it often, and build up.
– Feeling overwhelmed
When you’re stressed and anxious, finding the time to exercise can add fuel to the fire first. It might seem impractical, or it might have some other tedious task on your to-do list. However, you can convert this attitude into a healthier one by including exercise as part of your daily routine.
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Shuffle things around to create a daily slot that the workout will fit in and make it a priority. You may find that after exercising regularly, everything else seems a bit easier.
Regular exercise is absolutely fantastic for your mental health. In addition to the problems mentioned above, it can also help improve your self-image, confidence, and drive.
Living with a body that feels alive and full of energy is motivating in itself, and looking good can give you the confidence boost you need to excel in other areas of your life as well.
Ready to look and feel great?
As you embark on a new journey of practice for your mental and physical health, you may want a helping hand to help you achieve your goals. Zotrim is here to help!
Our all natural and effective formula helps reduce food cravings, making it easier for you to stick to your eating plan.
In combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise, Zotrim will put you on your way to the best shape of your life – inside and out!