Not only has exercise been found to improve your physical health, but it can also improve your mental health!
Most of us start our exercise journey with a physical goal - to lose weight, to gain muscle strength, to become fitter. But not many people go into exercise with the intention of improving their mental health.
A topic not often discussed is how regular physical activity can actually help by contributing to the reduction of anxiety and depression. It can also help in improving your self-confidence and have an overall positive impact on your mental well-being.
EXERCISE IS THE ULTIMATE MEDICINE TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH!
To break it down for you, we've listed a few of the ways exercise has helped us enhance our mental well-being.
Sometimes it’s hard to bring yourself to workout, however after you’ve finished it’s likely that you actually feel a lot better, more awake and even calmer. This is because endorphins, specifically beta endorphins, are released as a kind of ‘reward system’ when you exercise. These are released into the body by the brain to give us a boost of pleasure in response to the potential physical and mental stress caused.
Not only are endorphins released but other chemicals in the brain such as serotonin are increased and our stress hormones decrease. These all contribute to how we feel overall. This is prevalent after a run, if you’ve ever heard of the term ‘runner’s high’, this is the feeling of serotonin one experiences at the end. If you’re unable to get outside, you can also have a look at our range of cardio equipment, especially treadmills, which can give you that same feeling in the comfort of your own home.
A rush of adrenaline and an accelerated heart rate will trigger a stress response. Our body reacts to this by sending out all those happy hormones (endorphins) that leave our mind and body feelin' good.
The physical changes we experience when eating a well-balanced diet and following a consistent workout routine can have dramatic impacts on our self-confidence.
When our clothes start fitting better, our muscles begin to grow and our skin starts to glow, it can really invoke a sense of empowerment, doing wonders for our self-esteem.
Some exercises you may be able to perform could be weight lifting, either at the gym or in your home. At World Fitness we offer a wide range of products and packages that suits all fitness levels. If you’re looking for some lifting packages we offer them here, but if you prefer individual products we’ve also got a huge selection of weights, barbells and dumbbells available.
As we start refining our exercise skills and progressing in our training we also become more confident within ourselves and our abilities. Even when we aren't progressing, we can take pride in the fact that we are still showing up each day and doing something that is wholly, and purely for the betterment of ourselves, which is really an enriching feeling.
Anxiety is something that impacts each and everyone of us, and it can be tough to overcome. If you're having a bad day, are feeling stressed out or notice yourself slipping into a negative mindset, it can really take a toll on our day to day lives. Sometimes all we need to get over these periods is to reset and recharge. This is where exercise comes in.
Going and getting a workout in is the perfect way to divert our thinking away from whatever’s causing us stress. It can help provide the clarity we need to overcome our negative emotions and find solutions to the problem. Essentially becoming an outlet.
Boxing can be a form of exercise to help reduce stress and anxiety. With our wide selection of products including boxing bags, gloves and stands, you’ll be sure to find the perfect products to help you get started.
Some physical signs of stress include irregular sleeping patterns, sweating and loss of appetite. These are reactions triggered by the release of stress hormones in our body, otherwise known as our fight or flight response. These hormones cause our blood pressure and heart rate to increase in order to prepare the body for an emergency response.
While releasing happy hormones, it also helps to relieve the tension we carry (both physically and mentally) during stressful and anxious times, so that we can get back to being our positive-selves.
It has become very common for older individuals to suffer from dementia and cognitive decline due to our increased overall life expectancy. The main symptoms being memory loss and declines in cognitive functions such as attention and concentration.
Through exercise, blood flow to the brain is increased and chemical changes occur that reduce the cognitive decline that may be developing. It may also result in increasing the hippocampus which is the side of the brain associated with memory formation.
Not only does it help reduce the development of dementia, which in turn lowers the onset of Alzheimer's, it is also impactful on combating depression and obesity. Although more research is needed into how, and how much, exercise can cause these changes, regular exercise is important to stay physically and mentally fit overall.
Some exercises to incorporate into your daily routine would be ones that just use your bodyweight. This makes them easy to complete in the comfort of your own home and don’t require a lot of space. Some examples include pushups, sit-ups and squats. If you find these too easy to do with just your bodyweight, you can try adding some tension with resistance bands to make them harder.
These are just a few of the many, many ways physical activity can positively impact our mental well-being. If you'd like to find out more, you can also reach out to our friendly and supportive team.