What are the benefits of exercise on mental health?
Exercise is not just about building physical capacity and muscles, it also has a positive impact on mental health. While exercise can help improve physical health, body shape, and sex life, many people are motivated to exercise because it makes them feel good.
Regular exercise can provide a sense of well-being, increase energy levels, improve sleep quality, boost memory and mood, and alleviate stress, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other common mental health problems. You don't need to be a fitness fanatic to benefit from exercise; studies suggest that even small amounts of exercise can make a significant difference in mental health.
Effects on The Body
Research shows that exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in treating mild to moderate depression. Running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour has been found to reduce the risk of major depression by 26%. Exercise promotes neural growth, reduces inflammation, and creates new activity patterns in the brain that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins, which boost mood and energy levels.
Exercise is a natural anti-anxiety treatment that relieves tension, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through endorphin release. Practicing mindfulness during exercise, such as paying attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground or your breathing, can help break the cycle of constant worries and negative thoughts. Physical symptoms of stress, such as muscle tension, headaches, and stomach problems, can be relieved through exercise. Since the body and mind are closely linked, when the body feels better, the mind will also improve.
Helps With ADHD
Regular exercise is an effective way to reduce symptoms of ADHD and improve concentration, motivation, memory, and mood. It boosts dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels, which are all essential for focus and attention.
It Can Help With PTSD
Exercise can also help individuals suffering from PTSD and trauma. Focusing on physical sensations during exercise can help the nervous system become "unstuck" and move out of the immobilization stress response that characterizes PTSD. Cross-movement exercises that engage both arms and legs, such as walking, running, swimming, weight training, and dancing, are particularly beneficial. Outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, mountain biking, rock climbing, white-water rafting, and skiing have also been found to alleviate PTSD symptoms.
Your mental health can benefit from a multitude of different things and exercise is probably the most beneficial. Aside from practicing everyday mindfulness and meditation, exercise has been proven to really help release beneficial endorphins in your brain which helps to fight the multitude of things listed above. Although it does help, don’t expect it to happen overnight as this is a process that needs to take place. But rest assured if you keep at it, not only will you gain plenty of results from exercising but you will feel much better than you do now.
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Disclaimer: Adam is not a doctor nor a nutritionist. This is all from the experience Adam has gained through himself and through schooling. Through his videos, Adam shares his personal and educational experience that he has acquired over the past years of training individuals through fitness and nutrition. Adam would strongly recommend you see your physician before starting or completing any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition to participate in the exercises which is why consulting your physician would be recommended.
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