Many people seem to solely focus on the physical benefits of exercise. However, there is a lot of research that supports the assertion that being active is crucial for your emotional and mental well-being as well. Here are four ways that demonstrate how staying active can prove beneficial for your overall mental health.
The Connection Between Mind and Body
You should not discount the power of the mind-body connection when it comes to getting in regular exercise. Studies have shown that those with chronic illness tend to be more depressed. It is no secret that leading an active lifestyle is a crucial component in your efforts to fight off chronic illnesses and diseases. Not only does being active help improve your memory, but it also helps you to get more quality sleep, and it boosts your overall mood, solidifying this mind and body connection.
Exercise and Depression
Numerous studies have shown that exercise can treat mild depression just as effectively as prescription antidepressants without any of the potentially harmful side effects of medication. By promoting a host of positive changes in the brain, regular exercise helps you to naturally feel more calm and centered. The immediate release of feel-good endorphins that come after a good sweat session also boosts the spirit and reduces depression levels.
Exercise Treats Anxiety
As a natural anti-anxiety treatment, exercise works by relieving muscle tension in the body. Experts believe that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety than their sedentary counterparts. Getting your heart rate up will provide the most significant benefits when you’re looking to control anxiety. You should also choose an enjoyable activity so that you do not dread participating. A sense of dread will only make the anxiety worse.
Exercise Reduces Stress
The endorphins released when exercising reduce stress by relieving muscular tension. These endorphins also help you to sleep better, helping your body to regulate your levels of stress. Regular participation in aerobic exercise will help to stabilize your mood, enabling you to be able to better deal with tension during your day. Using exercise as a coping mechanism for stress is much better than turning to other alternatives such as overeating and drinking alcohol.
Exercise can be a powerful tool to consider when you’re looking to improve your mental health and emotional well-being. Find an exercise routine that fits your needs and is enjoyable for you. You owe it to both your body and mind to stay active and do all that you can for your overall health.
For tips on incorporating exercise into your busy life, read on here!