Wednesday, May 22, 2024

How exercise can benefit your mental health

Being active is extremely important not only for your mental health but also for your physical wellbeing, your mind will benefit from regular exercise and so will your body. To benefit from being active, you don’t need to go in and be extreme, by simply making small changes to your daily habits can have a big impact. Try and find an activity that you enjoy and will allow you to meet like-minded people. If you are a competitive person, you could join one of your local sports clubs, if you enjoy being independent you could take up running or cycling or you can simply explore and go on long walks in the countryside to get yourself active. 

Exercise can benefit your mental health

The more research that is carried out, the more important exercise is to benefit your mental health. When being active, chemicals are released in your brain that help makes you feel good. You’ll benefit from reduced stress levels, you’ll be able to sleep better, your self-esteem and confidence will improve and your brain will benefit as well. This then will have the knock-on effect of helping you perform better at work, be more positive when meeting new people and generally come across as a happier person. Exercise can benefit your mental health in so many ways, below we look into five reasons why. 

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Help improve your sleep 

Sleep is extremely important for many aspects of your life. By getting the recommended 7-9 hours, you’ll find yourself being able to concrete better, reduce your stress levels and improve your mental wellbeing. When taking part in physical activity, your body temperature will increase, when finished, it will decrease which promotes a soothing effect on your body, similar to when falling asleep. The signals that are being transmitted to your brain, will help make falling asleep easier, helping get into a deeper sleep which will improve your quality. 

Decrease your levels of stress 

Feeling stressed is not an uncommon emotion and is one that can feel more prevalent at different times within your life. Through regular exercise, you can help combat the feeling of stress, by improving blood flow and helping generate endorphins which is what makes you “feel good”. Exercise also gives you a break from your everyday stress, distracting you by having to concentrate on the exercise you are participating in. Physical activity often gives you instant relief from stress and can help you relax, feel better and increase your self-confidence. 

Depression 

As proven in many studies, exercise is a great antidepressant. Regular exercise can contribute to the symptoms of depression, due to the positive endorphins which are produced by the brain. The smallest increase in exercise can make a big difference, so try to make a weekly adjustment to include some form of exercise – even a longer walk than normal, a light swim or a short jog around the block can help with combating depression. Other areas where you will also benefit is weight loss and cardiovascular health which also helps reduce the symptoms of depression. 

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Improve your self-esteem 

Exercise can benefit your mental health and will improve other areas of your life. Your heart will strengthen and your energy levels will boost. You will increase your muscle tone and find your stamina improves over time. If weight loss is a goal of yours, exercise will be key to achieving this. When exercising, you’ll learn new skills and make new friends who are similar to yourself. All of this will help improve your self-esteem, helping you feel better about yourself. 

Connects you with others, feel less lonely 

Most activities that you will take part in, will have some levels of social engagement. Whether you join a sports team or join a club such as a running club or swimming club, you will be meeting new people who are like-minded and can become good friends of yours. This can help combat loneliness, which can affect your mental health. As well as meeting these friends when taking part in exercise, you can also arrange social nights to enhance your connection with them. 

These are our five reasons why exercise can benefit your mental health. Are there any benefits that you would like to include? Have you benefited from any of the five points? Let us know in the comment box below. 

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Mark Lee-Falcon
Mark Lee-Falconhttps://livingahealthylifestyle.co.uk
Hi! My name is Mark Lee-Falcon and I am co-editor for Living a healthy lifestyle. Playing sports is a big passion of mine, with football, badminton, tennis and table tennis being the main four I play on a regular occurrence. I love finding new recipes to try out and am a qualified personal trainer. You can contact me on: info@livingahealthylifestyle.co.uk

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