This is a guest article contributed by Gregory from ConstructMuscles.com
Most people hit do hit their gym to burn fats, build healthy muscles, lose weight, enhance their cardiovascular health and stay physically fit. Exercises have also been recommended by the government and various health organization and professionals as an essential aspect of a healthy life.
But exercising the body is not only packed with below-the-neck benefits, but it also has other benefits too.
Many scientists have carried out a lot of researches on the issue of exercise and how it can enhance the function of the brain.
Studies show that physical activities has some amazing mental benefits and are even recommended for people with mental ailments including those with anxiety and depression.
Even if you have no health challenges, there are a lot of ways you can benefit from working out.
Do you want to know the ways exercise improves your mental health? If yes, you are in the right place.
This article will show you four ways exercise improves your mental health so you can get inspired, motivated and committed to working out.
1. Mood Enhancement
Have you ever gone out for a run after a stressful day? How do you feel afterward? You feel alive, isn’t it?
There is a strong connection between exercise and your mood. Even within 5 minutes after carrying out a mild physical activity, you will notice the positive effect of the exercise on your mood.
The study shows that physical activities help to release endorphins into the body.
These chemical substances known as endorphins are produced in the central nervous system and released into your body during physical activity.
Endorphins which are also known as the “feel good chemicals” will not only reduce pain but also enhance your mood, creating that feeling of euphoria and happiness.
However, the effects of exercise are not short-lived, not one that fades away after your adrenaline wears off.
A regular physical activity produces long-term psychological benefits. It has been recognized as a proven way of alleviating or preventing depression.
According to the research carried out by Psychosomatic Medicine, in the year 2007, Blumenthal explored the connection between mood and exercise in one of his experimental studies.
In this study, physically inactive adults with major depressive disorder are divided into four different groups: placebo pill, antidepressant therapy, home-based exercise, and supervised exercise.
He discovered that the rate of remission was higher in the antidepressant and the exercise groups but lower in the placebo group after going through four months of treatment.
So he concluded that exercise could replace the use of antidepressants on patients with this mental condition.
The Psychosomatic Medicine, 2010, contains the report where Blumenthal followed up these patients’ treatment for a year. He found that those who carried out regular physical activity during this period had a lower level of depression than their inactive colleagues.
He concluded that exercise is not only good for the treatment of depression but also to prevent a relapse.
2. Stress Reduction
Are you having a rough day at your office? Why not take a walk, try some office workouts or visit the gym?
Stress has been recognized as one of the biggest silent killers in the United States of America. It leads to weight gain, gastrointestinal issues, heart problems, high blood pressure, and stroke.
It also brings a long-term adverse effect on the mental health. It can cloud your mental reasoning and even affect your productivity at work.
And because stress is inevitable, it has become the daily life of most individuals especially those with high-pressure jobs.
No wonder why most of us are just like a time bomb that is already prepared to explode.
Exercise plays a vital role in stress reduction with the production of a chemical substance known as norepinephrine which moderates the response of the brain to stress while increasing your level of concentration.
The endorphins released during a physical activity also help to reduce stress and contribute to helping you stay relaxed.
Physical activities also help to get rid of worries and anxieties, freeing your mind of the problems that are hanging around in there. It’s a win-win approach; it reduces stress and improves your ability to manage existing mental tension.
3. Exercises Boost Self-Confidence
How successful an individual is in life is determined by the individual’s self-confidence. When you believe in yourself that you can do something, your confidence is often enough to get the job done.
Life itself is a mind game, and the more you esteem and believe in yourself, the healthier you are mentally.
Engaging in physical activity will help boost your self-confidence. Exercise itself is a task, and when you carry out this task, you will see yourself developing physically and mentally.
It will make you feel better about the way you feel or the way you look, and these are the main ingredients of self-confidence.
For instance, when you do a six-month weight training exercise, going back to see how you can easily lift the amount of weight you started with or something similar to that will make you feel like a superman.
You will also feel great about the look and the attractiveness of your own body.
4. Exercises Build and Sharpen Your Brain
When you find yourself stuck at making a decision, one of the best things you can do is to carry out some exercise.
Studies show that the body and the mind are NOT two different entities. One controls the other. A person’s physical behavior often depicts what is going on or what is wrong with his or her mental health.
When you perform a physical exercise, blood circulation is increased, your heart pumps more blood to your brain. This will allow you to have a clearer thought and get rid of the things clouding your brain.
It will also boost your memory due to a chemical substance called endorphin which is released into your body. This chemical substance improves the storing, encoding and retrieval of information in the brain thereby improving your memory.
Assuming you are very anxious and stressed about a very important presentation you have to give the following day at work.
All those worries and nervosity will waste you mind energy, and you may find it difficult to stop those negative thoughts from occupying your mind.
But you can simply switch to exercise; it not only help you stop the negativity but also help you focus on the positivity like how you can perform better in that presentation.
Tips for Effective Physical Exercise
Now that you know that exercises are beneficial to your mental health, you might be inspired to log some exercise.
However, there are some tips you may have to follow to stay safe and motivated while performing physical exercises. The tips below might be able to help you achieve the success, safety and stay motivated while working out.
- Focus on the physical activity you enjoy. So for what you like. If you enjoyed swimming but forced yourself to go out for a run, you may be increasing your chances of getting an injury. Focusing on the exercise you love will not only help you stay motivated but also leaves you with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
- Use the right training gears. The right exercising gears such as the right footwear and clothing will help you stay efficient and injury free.
- Take your comfort seriously. Choose the training gears that you are comfortable in.
- Exercise with your friends and loved ones. Making it a social activity is a good way to stay motivated and enjoy the benefits of working out.
- Schedule your exercise at the time when you have the highest energy. This may be very early in the morning, at noon or in the evening period of the day. If you are feeling tired, worried or depressed, try going out for a walk or dancing to some of your favorite music.
- Spot and treat exercise injury early. This will avoid making the injury to develop into a worse condition.
- Eat well and rest well. Eating well will ensure that you have the energy that you need to carry out a physical activity. With good food and adequate rest, the rate of your recovery will be increased.
- Reward your hard work with things you enjoy. This may be a delicious meal, smoothie, or TV shows.
A sedentary life does more harm than good, and it is nothing other than a recipe for destruction.
Regularly exercising your body will help keep the doctors away. With physical exercise, you will not only be improving the level of your physical fitness, and preventing or managing cardiovascular diseases but will also be doing your mental health a great favor.
So why are you still sitting back? Get out of your sedentary life, exercise your body, and come back with your testimony.
About The Author
Gregory is a chief editor at ConstructMuscles.com. He spends half of my time on his blog while the other half on being a physical fitness trainer. Believing in the great benefits of bodybuilding and fitness to the body, he has been motivated to become a fitness enthusiast. Stay Connected to him on Twitter.