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Mental Health Week: 4 Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise

Most people will be aware that regular exercise is good for the body, and it can help you lose weight. But asides from shedding a few pounds, were you aware of the psychological benefits of exercise?

Regular exercise can have a positive impact on mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. By completing exercise your brain stimulates chemicals that help improve your memory, increase your energy, and boost your overall mood. Get inspired to exercise by reading up on these benefits:

The mental health benefits of exercise

Exercise Improves Sleep Quality

Research shows that one in 3 of us suffers from poor sleep, with busy schedule’s and computers often to blame. A lack of sleep has a profound effect on our mood, productivity, immune system, and even our weight. If you find falling to asleep challenging, exercise can help. The increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise is believed to help improve sleep quality. One study into the link between physical activity and sleep found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, can provide up to 65 per cent improvement in sleep quality.

Keep in mind that exercise in the evening may have an adverse effect. You might find yourself feeling energizing and unable to switch off. Instead try relaxing exercises such as yoga.

Exercise Improves Your Self-Esteem

From losing weight to improving muscle tone, regular exercise has shown to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and self-image. Regardless of our body image, exercising can help boost our mind, and spirit. In short, exercise enhances our mood and makes us feel good about our physical self. Goal setting is a great way to improve your mental agility by providing a sense of achievement having accomplished a goal.

Exercise Increases Your Energy Levels

Increasing your heart rate will give you the get-up-and-go to help combat your day. Any exercise that gets your heart raising and blood flowing will release endorphins which help boost energy levels. Cardiovascular and resistance training are two forms of exercises which fight off feelings of tiredness.

Exercise Reduces Stress

Stress affects us all. Most of us are used to being stressed, but too much can wear you down, physically and mentally. We may experience symptoms such as increased breathing, heart rate, and tightened muscles. Chronic stress is a major contributor to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. The overproduction of hormones is the reason for most stress-related illnesses. Working up a sweat can help release endorphins in the brain, helping to relax muscles and relieve tension in the body.

How To Get Started With Exercise

Exercise doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and boring. Before you start, try to set realistic and attainable goals. By setting realistic goals, you’ll help create a workout routine that you will both enjoy and stick to. Here’s some things to consider before getting started;

  • Choose an activity you enjoy the most
  • Build up your activity gradually
  • Monitor your progress
  • Incorporate your activity as part of your everyday routine
  • Did you know that not all mental health conditions are visible? At Future Fit, our fitness professionals and nutritionists have a responsibility to understand how invisible factors can influence the performance, health and wellbeing of individuals. Read more about what it feels like living with invisible illnesses.