Exercise has many benefits, however, we often don’t consider how it can impact our mental well being. So, let’s discuss how workouts can enhance your mental health.
Alleviate Depression & Anxiety Symptoms
Exercise has been proven to reduce symptoms of depression, help in the management of anxiety, to improve body-image and generally enhance your mood, says Gold Coast Psychologist, Dr Mark Bartholomew.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, a chemical that your nervous system produces to make you feel happy. You only have to do a few moderate exercise sessions throughout the week for the rise in endorphin levels to have a positive effect on your anxiety and depression symptoms.
This fantastic yet straightforward benefit of exercising is precisely why many doctors recommend it to their patients before they prescribe medications.
Brain Performance Boost
Did you know that neurogenesis, the process of new brain cell development, is linked with cardiovascular exercises?
Your brain is capable of creating new neurons and strengthening the connection between your brain cells when you exercise so that you can expect an overall brain performance improvement.
Even if you do not commit to a full, taxing exercising regime, simple exercises every other day can prevent cognitive decline too!
Many also report feeling more inspired post-exercising. This is because the brain performance boost also extends to learning capability, mental energy and creativity!
So, the next time you need a big idea, some jogging activities might be what you need.
Improved Confidence & Self-Esteem
It’s common knowledge that exercising can improve your physique, increase your muscle tone and decrease your body weight.
For many of us, this physical change can increase our overall confidence. When you look better, you will often feel better and this boost to your confidence, will help you to face more obstacles in your daily life head-on.
Feel More Relaxed
When you exercise, your heart beats faster to circulate blood around your body. Your body’s temperature will rise, and you will start to feel more relaxed as you cool down.
The drop in your body temperature signals your body to sleep, which is why you can fall asleep quickly after working out!
If you have always had trouble falling asleep, try exercising an hour or two before you intend to head to sleep. You might find that it is much easier to fall and stay asleep throughout the whole night with just a little bit of exercise!
Overcome PTSD & Trauma
An immobilisation stress response often characterises PTSD and trauma. When you stay mindful while exercising, you pay attention to the sensations in your body – your muscles, your joints, how your breath travels through the body and more.
Your nervous system is a lot more flexible and prone to changes than you think. Keeping up with these exercise routines and practising a new thinking concept can rewire your brain to help you move on from the past and stay focused on the present.
Yoga, in particular, focuses on mindfulness, requiring you to focus on your body movement, sense of balance and breathing among other sensations. As you practice yoga more and more, you might find that you can overcome the symptoms of PTSD and trauma.
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