A regular topic of conversation: how exercise positively impacts our physical health. We honestly see and hear it everywhere, from glow up pics on the gram, to our friends and colleagues telling us how they're getting stronger, or their jeans are fitting better. But, how many of us are talking about how really exercise makes us feel?
Most us humans set out our exercise journey with a physical goal - to lose weight, to get strong, to become fitter. But how many of you have turned to exercise to help improve your mental health?
A topic often less discussed (for no good reason), is how regular physical activity can be a tool to reduce anxiety and depression, improve your self-confidence, and just have an overall, positive impact on our mental well-being. So, we are here to break that chain and shout it from the roof tops
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.
1. Exercise boosts your mood
Have you ever finished a work out and thought "oh man, I regret that"? Probably not. We exercise to feel good. Most the time you'll leave the gym or finish a run feeling invigorated, and we can thank our little friends endorphins for that.
These are happy receptors that are dispersed throughout our body in response to stress. Their goal is to make us feel better and to minimise any negative physical or mental responses.
Endorphins are released during exercise as a kind of 'reward system', giving us a boost of pleasure for temporarily putting our body through a type of stress. It's important to remember that stress is a physical state, and not just a mindset. And sometimes, it can be a good thing.
An accelerated heart rate and rush of adrenaline 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' gooood.
2. Exercise reduces stress and anxiety
Anxiety is something that impacts each and everyone of us, and it can be tough. 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. And sometimes all we need to get over these periods is to reset and recharge. Exercise helps us do that.
Smashing out a workout is a great way to divert our thinking away from whatever's causing you stress. It can provide the clarity needed to overcome our negative emotions and find a solution to the problem. Essentially, it becomes our outlet.
Of course we know its going to release those happy hormones, but it also helps to relieve the tension we carry during stressful and anxious times, so that we can get back to positive-selves.
3. Exercises improves our self-confidence
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.
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.
These are just 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.