If you believe that spending time for physical work is only about getting into good shape, think once more. The truth is, exercise can offer countless benefits. In this article, we will explain why being physically active is beneficial to your overall well being.
With regular exercise or sport, you are not only keeping fit but you are also boosting your self esteem. Staying fit is not just having low fat or big muscles. But when you do the work and see the results you feel the accomplishment. You strong or fast or flexible. But you feel strong and fast and flexible. You look and the mirror and you see it. You have the adrenaline, the serotonin. Exercise is not just for your body but for the mind. You learn discipline and how to perseverance. This is what makes you feel good. It fuels your confidence. It develops skills that you use everyday. This might sound a little unbelievable but it is true.
I struggled with depression, anxiety and self esteem issues for a long time. I tried eating right, medication, meditation. Writing journals, waking up early and taking cold showers didn’t fix me. Don’t misunderstand, they didn’t do nothing for me and I’d recommend trying them for yourself. But they didn’t fix me. And I felt like there was something missing in with me. Something that needed correcting. I wasn’t expecting it, but out of all the changes I made, exercise did the most for me. And it’s not even close.
Why exercise is so good
So, why is exercising beneficial to your mental well being? Well one part of it is that exercise works on your brain to make it work optimally. When you exercise, your brain gets more oxygen and blood. The increased blood flow results in the enhancement of brain cells. When your brain cells are healthy, they function optimally, which means that you will have an improved mood, sharper thinking abilities and a clearer and sharper memory. In addition to this, when your brain is functioning optimally, you also have more energy, which means that exercising can result in better brain function.
Exercising releases endorphins. Ever heard of the runner’s high? That’s most likely thanks to endorphins. It’s a chemical released in your brain in response to pain. they are natural pain killers but they do actually make you feel good. If you push past the pain, then you can feel good on your first day in the gym. And the more you exercise, the better it will feel.
But that’s not the only effect exercise has on the chemicals in your brain. So many people these days are addicted to instant reward. Your phone is fantastic at triggering dopamine. Dopamine is supposed to help you on your way to completing goals. Just one step at a time. But we have such easy access to it now that so many people feel incapable of anything. I used to be one of these people. Well guess what? Exercise can help you there too. You have to work for your reward, no more instant gratification because someone liked your Instagram post. And the more you exercise the better you can motivate yourself to work on something, when the reward is distant. Exercise is directly linked to greater availability of dopamine receptors.
Finally there is serotonin. This chemical is key in regulating your overall sense of well being and happiness. Maybe it’s not a surprise what I am about to say next. Exercise will help you out here as well. Any reputable source will tell you the same thing. Exercise increases the serotonin levels in your brain. Low serotonin is the largest indicator of depression and there are many reasons why someone’s levels could be low. But exercise is proven to raise these levels.
Other mental health benefits of exercise
So it can help boost your mood in both the short term and long term and help against clinical depression. But does it have any other mental health benefits? Absolutely.
Need more mental health benefits? How about improved sleep? Aerobic exercise is great for that. It will overtime increase the amount of oxygen in your body, and this will persist while you sleep. Therefore, you sleep better at night and wake up feeling energised and refreshed. Most people I know complain about not being a morning person. But it is something you can teach your body to be.
Studies have shown that engaging in exercise can decrease stress, especially if it’s intense. I feel like I don’t even need to explain this one. You’ve seen it movies, you’ve probably felt the urge yourself to get up and to move. Sprinting, weight lifting and martial arts are probably the best for this. But, honesty, any exercise will have a positive impact. Alternatively you could opt for Yoga or Tai Chi. The exact opposite of intense but can definitely reduce your stress. How much you believe in the spiritual benefits of these activities is up to you.
Discipline & Perseverance
Of course there’s the simple benefit of just training your mind. Not much in the way of science, but exercise is hard work. It takes effort. It requires self discipline and being able to push yourself. These are qualities that we admire in people. Why would you not want them in yourself?
And finally top all of that off, you will be more attractive. You may have a more attractive body sure, but you will also benefit from the increased confidence. And we all know that confidence is attractive. A nice additional side effect is that exercise is great at helping out against acne. So it might help you if that’s something you struggle with.
Exercise is worth it
So to sum it up, exercise and mental health benefits go hand in hand. You can improve your overall health, physical and mental, by engaging in regular physical activity. And once its a part of your routine, you will want to keep it up. The difficult part is getting started. Most people would like to someone who exercises regularly, but most of us fail. Take it slow. If you push yourself too hard at the beginning you will be more likely to give up. Just focus on doing small amounts regularly. Keep your goal achievable and then make it easier. Once its routine, you can begin to really push yourself.