The majority of people know that exercise is beneficial for physical health, but don't know that it also has many benefits for mental health.
1. Releases Endorphins
While workouts can be tough, it is well worth it. Physically, you feel tired, but your brain is actually releasing endorphins. Endorphins create feelings of euphoria and happiness. Exercise can lead to stress relief because it improves the concentration of norepinephrine, which is the chemical that regulates your brain's stress response. Increasing your heart rate actually decreases stress-induced brain damage and makes the body's sympathetic and central nervous systems communicate which leads to an improved stress response.
Exercise is a proven mood booster. It can lead to a reduction in feelings of anxiety. High-intensity exercise can bring down sensitivity to anxiety and have a calming effect.
2. Improves Sleep
If falling asleep is something you're struggling with, a good workout can help. First, by regularly exercising, you can regulate your circadian rhythm (your body's built-in alarm clock). This controls when you feel alert and when you feel tired.
Second, exercise boosts your body temperature, which can have calming effects on your mind. This leads to less time spent laying awake in bed and more time sleeping. Even though exercise can help with sleep, it is not recommended that you exercise right before bed, because you will more than likely feel energized instead of sleepy.
3. Improves Memory and Concentration
Additionally, exercise can improve your memory and concentration. It does this by increasing the production of cells in your hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of your brain that is responsible for learning and memory. The increase in cells in the hippocampus which are a byproduct of exercising, will boost your brain's overall development and power. It also will help you feel mentally sharp and more creative.
4. Increased Self Esteem
Exercising on a regular basis is an investment physically and mentally. When it becomes a habit, it will have positive effects on both. Any goal achievement ranging from improving your endurance, lifting heavier weights, losing weight, or increasing muscle, will have you feeling better about yourself. You will have a sense of accomplishment from reaching even your smallest goals and you will begin to see the results of the physical progress you've made. The combination of both of these will cause your self-worth and self esteem to increase leaving you feeling better about yourself.
5. Increased Energy
Because exercising increases your heart rate, in the long run, this will give you more energy. While right after a workout you may feel tired or exhausted, your overall energy levels will rise. Feeling more energized can have multiple benefits such as increasing your productivity and efficiency, and leave you ready to go all throughout the day.
Exercising has numerous benefits for you so make a plan to exercise this week. If you are looking for short exercises you can do at home, check out our at home workouts blog.
5 Reasons Why Exercise is Good for Your Mental Health