We all know exercise is awesome for our physical health, but did you know that it can also profoundly affect our brain and mental health? That’s right, working out isn’t just about losing weight or improving your physical appearance; it can also positively impact your mental well-being. This blog post will explore how exercise can improve your mental health.
Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
Exercise has numerous mental health benefits, including reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Let’s explore each of these benefits in more detail to help inspire you to get moving!
Exercise Reduces Stress
You’ve likely heard that exercise is an effective way to reduce stress, but exactly how does this work? When we exercise, our body releases endorphins, and endorphins have mood-boosting properties. Endorphins are often referred to as the “feel-good” hormones because they can produce feelings of happiness and well-being. In addition to reducing stress, endorphins can also alleviate pain, improve sleep, and boost your overall mood.
Exercise Alleviates Anxiety
Anxiety is an incredibly prevalent mental health disorder that can significantly impact your day-to-day life. If you suffer from anxiety, you may experience symptoms such as racing thoughts, excessive worry, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Exercise has been shown to be a beneficial treatment for anxiety, as it can help to reduce anxiety symptoms by getting us out of our heads and into our bodies.
Exercise Helps to Combat Depression
Depression is a serious mental health condition that can cause a wide range of emotional and physical problems. Those dealing with depression might feel hopeless, worthless, and helpless. Further, they may also lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, have difficulty sleeping, and experience changes in their appetite. While there is yet to be a one-size-fits-all treatment for depression, exercise has been shown to be an impressive way to improve mood and alleviate symptoms. Again, this is primarily thanks to the release of endorphins during exercise.
Along with the benefits we covered above, exercise can also boost self-esteem. This is especially true if you’ve been through a recent life event that caused your self-esteem to plummet, such as a divorce or losing a loved one. When you exercise, you’ll not only feel better physically but also start to see yourself in a more positive light. As your physical health improves, your self-esteem can naturally follow suit.
Boost Cognitive Function
As we age, it’s not uncommon for our cognitive function to decline. This can lead to issues with your memory, concentration, and decision-making. However, exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function in both young and old adults. One study even found older adults who started exercising regularly could significantly reduce their risk of developing dementia!
Fitness and Mental Health
So, if you’re looking to boost your mood and alleviate stress, anxiety, or depression, add some exercise to your routine. You may just be surprised at how much of a difference it makes!
If you’re looking for some guidance on your journey, check out our personal training services. The trainers at Xtend Fitness in San Antonio can help you to set and achieve your fitness goals. Contact us today to get started!