From improving energy and stamina levels to increasing muscle strength and mass, it’s fair to say that the majority of people exercise to stay physically healthy. However, staying fit can have a remarkable beneficial impact on your emotional health too.
When your body is active, “feel good” chemicals known as endorphins are released, which also causes serotonin levels (linked to sleep and memory) to rise. Blood flow to the brain also increases, while muscle tension comes down.
But in what other ways does exercise help the mind and how can you achieve these benefits?
4 Ways Exercising Benefits the Mind
- Boost overall well-being
Surveys have shown that people with an active lifestyle report higher levels across five key areas: wellbeing, mood, emotions, satisfaction with life, and quality of life.
- Prevent and beat depression
Not only has research indicated that physical activity helps to reduce the risk of depression, it also reduces the symptoms for sufferers too.
- Help you feel less stressed
If you tend to get stressed quite easily or are an anxious person, then regular exercise could be the solution to your problems.
- Improve sleep
Along with the tiredness that comes from physical exertion, people who exercise at least once a week are less likely to suffer from a sleep disorder too.
Exercises to Boost your Emotional Health
You don’t need to spend all day every day at the gym to boost your mental health. Just a few hours of moderate aerobic activity each week can make a massive difference. In fact, some forms of exercise can improve your well-being to a greater extent.
- Walking — This activity enables you to inhale the fresh air and take advantage of the great outdoors. However, you must walk at a swift pace for it to have a positive effect.
- Running — Up the ante by running in the local park or using treadmills at home to improve your cardiovascular fitness. You can set yourself various goals. This provides focus and a stronger sense of achievement.
- Yoga — It might not seem that exhausting, but yoga will dramatically improve your core strength, boost energy levels and help your mind feel more at ease.
- Team sports — Play a team sport with your friends or workmates. You can enjoy the camaraderie and companionship that comes from working together to achieve the same aim.
Even going on a bike ride or doing some heavy gardening can bring about an affirmative change in your mental health. If strenuous enough, these activities can enhance your physical health too. So, in order to achieve a fit mind as well as a fit body, find the time for regular exercise.
Do you exercise regularly? Do you find it benefits your mind as well as your body? I wouldn’t give up my daily yoga practice for anything in the world: it definitely boosts my mood, my productivity and it only takes 20/30 minutes a day (often in two chunks). Now you only have to choose your favourite activity and go for it!
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