Exercise for mental health
We all are aware of the physical health benefits of exercise, but there are numerous mental health benefits too. Also, many types of research point out that people who exercise on a regular basis have better mental health than people who do not. Thus, they have lower rates of depression/anxiety and better emotional wellbeing too. So, taking up physical activities can reduce the incidence of anxiety and depression. Additionally, studies show that mild depression or anxiety could be treated with exercise and shows the same results as if treated by therapy or medication.
How exercise makes us feel better?
Gives us a positive view of life. It increases our concentration, boosts our mood and alertness. Although, research is still ongoing to find out how exactly exercises improves mental health. Here are a few explanations:
- Regular exercise helps improve quality of sleep thus improving mood and mental health.
- Helps to improve the ability of any individual. Their goal-seeking confidence increases and sense of control is improved.
- Exercise helps a person get rid of negative thoughts and put that mental energy elsewhere in a positive manner.
- Improves social life and makes new friends that boost mental health
- Increase energy levels and this is helpful in people suffering from depression s they have often low energy levels.
- Reduces muscle tension, therefore, relaxing the body that itself relaxes the mind.
- It can act as an outlet for all your frustrations and normalise behaviour outside the gym.
Exercise and brain
Exercise is known to increase certain chemicals in the brain especially serotonin and endorphins which are called happy hormones. Thus, this help boosts the mood and balance the negative hormones of the body. Exercise is also known to increase cerebral blood flow of brain that improves neural connections and thought process. Therefore, this clear mind is less prone to mental health disorders like anxiety or depression.
How much to exercise
You do not need to take a lot of time to exercise in order to feel better. Additionally, studies show that moderate exercise is enough. About 30 min a day for three to five times a week depending upon your schedule. Thus, you can always start small by brisk walking and later, if needed, add more exercises to the routine for fun.
In order to start exercising or better mental health, you can always get help by:
- Your doctor
- Exercise trainer
- Exercise physiologist