Monthly Archives: July 2015

Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health

Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health

During the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function, studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits. Get inspired to exercise by reading up on how working out can benefit mental health, relationships, and a healthier and happier life overall.

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Reduce Stress

One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a hormone that is released by the adrenal medulla and by the sympathetic nerves and functions as a neurotransmitter. It is also used as a drug to raise blood pressure. Working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed . Doctors recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety do some gym time. Exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. Just working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.

Self Confidence

Physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve 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 their self-worth.

Get You Outdoors

Exercising ouside can increase self-esteem even more . Find an outdoor workout that fits your style, plus, all that Vitamin D acquired from soaking up the sun can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms. A little fresh air, sunshine and exercise can work wonders for self-confidence and happiness!

Prevent Brain Fog

As we get older, our brains get a little foggy sometimes.. Diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the brain actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. Exercise and a healthy diet can help with Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45 . Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, a part of the brain for memory and learning.

Help with Anxiety

Jumping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety. Enough said!

Increase Brainpower

Studies 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.

Improve Memory

Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. But exercise-based brainpower isn’t just for kids, working out can boost memory among grown-ups, too. A study showed that running sprints improved vocabulary retention among healthy adults .

Control Addiction

Exercise can help in addiction recovery . Short exercise sessions can also effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts, helping them with cravings. Working out when on the wagon has other benefits, too. Alcohol abuse disrupts many body processes, including circadian rhythms. As a result, alcoholics find they can’t fall asleep without drinking. Exercise can help reboot the body clock, helping people sleep at the right time.

Relaxation

For some, a moderate workout can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, even for people with insomnia . Moving around five to six hours before bedtime raises the body’s core temperature. When the body temp drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals the body that it’s time to sleep .

Accomplish More

Just a short walk or jog away, daily can lead to greater accomplishment. 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.

Increase Creativity

A session in the gym can boost creativity for up to two hours. Exercising outdoors and interacting with nature is even better.. Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain.

Inspire Others

Well that’s good news for all of us. Studies show that most people perform better when paired up with a workout buddy . Due to inspiration or good old-fashioned competition, nobody wants to let the other person down. In fact, being part of a team is so powerful that it can actually raise athletes’ tolerances for pain . Even fitness beginners can inspire each other to push harder during a sweat session, so find a workout buddy and get moving!

Working out can have positive effects far beyond the gym, more self-confidence, better mood, even thinking smarter will hopefully motivate you to take time for exercise on a regular basis.