How Exercise Helps With Mental Health

If you’re like most people, there are somethings you simply do without thinking. You just somehow know it’s going to help. Exercise when under stress is one of those things that are natural for some people, but not for everyone. If you’re feeling down and out and ready to get under the covers and sleep for the rest of the day, going for a run, working out hard and doing something active may do more good. That’s because exercise helps with mental health.

You’ll burn off the hormones of stress that might be the cause of serious problems.

There’s a lot of evidence from studies that depression and anxiety can be caused by stress, among other factors. When you exercise, even if it’s not strenuous, studies show it can help improve depression and anxiety. Some therapists are actually using exercise as an adjunct therapy either in coordination with drugs or instead of drugs.

You improve your self-image with exercise.

Exercise builds strength. It improves your posture. You’ll walk taller and look more confident. People will treat you differently, with more respect. That will improve your self-respect. There are a number of studies that the minute they start an exercise program, their self-image improves. Once the physical changes start occurring, with more energy and an improved body, not only does it make people more confident and prouder, it improves their overall mood and attitude toward life.

Your circulation will improve.

Exercise stimulates circulation, sending nutrient and oxygen laden blood to all parts of the body, which includes the brain. A number of studies show that exercise boosts cognitive abilities and reduces mental decline that comes with age. It can help create new brain cells and boosts the functioning of the hippocampus that’s the processing center for memory. Exercise increases two neurotransmitters, GABA—glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid. In people with depressive disorders, they’re depleted, but return to normal when depression ends. Studies show exercise increases the pathways to return the neurotransmitters to a normal level.

  • Exercise also helps you sleep better and increases energy levels, which also important for reducing the effects of depression. You also have more energy, which can help mental health.
  • Exercise can be a good replacement for other coping mechanisms that aren’t beneficial, such as drugs, smoking and alcohol. It helps the person exercising feel more in control, which can improve overall mood.
  • Exercise helps turn your attention to away from your problems and focus on the exercise. Just taking a break from problems can bring relief. It gives you the time to put things into perspective.
  • Exercise increases the beneficial microbes in your gut. These beneficial microbes affect a lot of the functions in the body, including your mental health. They provide enzymes that improve your overall mood and attitude.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness

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