Mental Health Harvests the Benefits of Exercising
“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking”. A casual walk of just 15 minutes can have profound impact on your mood. It can usher a range of positive feelings. Any physical activity, for that matter, can leave you feel refreshed. Isn’t that right?
But how can a physical activity switch the way you feel or your current state of mood? Studies have proven that exercise have deepest influence on your mental health. Your brain reaps the benefit of exercising as strongly as your body. In fact one can confidently quote that exercising kills “two birds with one stone.”
While exercising does have an variety of physical effects like enhancing your physique, trimming your waistline, increasing your muscles capacity but that’s not all. The actual results of working out is far more deeper than just aggrandize physical fitness. Exercising uplifts your mood, your self esteem and the way you look at your own body. It gives a sense of well being. You can feel pumped up throughout the day with just a 30 minute round of exercise. It also improves the quality of your sleep. And most importantly it acts as a powerful medicine to combat common mental health problems. That’s what keeps people motivated to exercise daily. Below are few unheard perks of exercising that will get you tying your laces and heading outdoors.
1) Exercising ease the symptoms of depression
Doctors around the world has advent to prescribe exercise regime for depression before turning the medications. It is proven that the moderate levels of exercising have a similar impact on mental state of a person as an anti-depression pill. Of course without having to worry about the side effects. Exercising releases copious amount of endorphin, body’s natural pain killer. For instance the euphoric feeling that comes after a workout often termed as “runner’s high”, can be accompanied by positive outlook on life.
2) Ward off anxiety
Exercising for a while can quite give you the break from the vicious cycle of negative thoughts that feed stress and anxiety. It is important that you pay attention on the activity you are doing instead of zoning out. You can focus on the rhythm of your breath or the wind touching your skin. Incorporating these mindful elements can alleviate anxiety to great levels and make you feel more calm. Off course the positive aftermath of exercising can keep you energetic and increase the longevity of your calmness. It will block the constant flow of worries in your head, so do give it a shot!
3) Evade Stress
Stress is an issue facing many individuals around us. People feel overwhelmed because of the pressure that they face as a part of modern life. Exercise and other PA can flush great degree of stress out of our lives and improve the overall quality of life. Exercise kills stressful hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline while stimulating the production of endorphin, body’s “feel good” hormone and elevates mood.
The tightness in your chest or a painful headache or a muscle cramp can all be relieved through exercise, as it relaxes the muscles and mitigates tension.
4) Higher Self-esteem
Looking good, feeling strong and having a positive attitude — the attributes of self esteem — are all benefits of regular exercise regime. Aside from the sense of accomplishment that one feels by successfully creating an exercise plan and sticking to it. It makes you more confident and induce positive body image.
5) Better Sleep
Though researchers might never be able to pinpoint the exact relationship between PA and sleep, but there are enough evidences that exercise does in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality. Moderate aerobic exercise may increase the amount of slow wave sleep ( deep sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate). One should pay close attention to the hour of the day they choose to exercise. Sleep experts recommend not to exercise near bedtime.
6) Cognitive decline and Dementia
You might think of this as a far fetched hypothesis but exercising does improves the cognitive functions of brain and assists in declining the risk of Dementia. PA has been identified as a protective factor in studies that examined the risk factors for Dementia. Exercising strengths hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Studies show that there is approximately a 20% to 30% lower risk of cognitive decline or Dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity.
Where to start?
Changing your lifestyle can seem a daunting task. Making room for exercising in your busy schedule can be tough as well. But you don’t need to dedicate hours together in gym, sweating buckets. A minimum of 30 minutes of workout can reap all the above mentioned benefits. If 30 minutes seem profuse too, try working out twice a day for just 15 minutes each.
The main goal is to get yourself moving. Making your body warmer and increasing the heart rate. You don’t have to suffer. Your workout sessions should make you breath a little heavier than normal, but shouldn’t make you feel out of breath. For example, you should be able to chat but not easily sign a song.
Try working out with friends or group in community center. Social support is great motivator, and sharing your experiences, goals and achievements will help you keep focused and enthusiastic.