It’s likely you have heard that exercise is good for your mental health. And if you have spent time exercising, you have probably experienced that phenomenon for yourself. Time spent working up a sweat lifts your spirits and gives you a more positive outlook. But what exactly makes exercise such a balm to the tension and stress in our minds? Here are four ways that working out has a positive effect on your mental outlook.
Stress is manifested in your body by higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol, which raise your blood pressure and put your body on high alert. While this is important in situations that include real danger, having heightened adrenaline and cortisol throughout normal life can damage the body and make daily functioning difficult. Exercise helps this issue by encouraging the body to utilize small amounts of stress hormones in controlled and safe conditions. As your body works hard, it uses the effects of those hormones to help you become faster and stronger. This also develops your resilience to stress, as your body learns to cope with signs of stress in a profitable and safe way.
If you are feeling a lot of negative emotions, like anger, sadness, or disappointment, a good workout can make a real difference in your mood and your perspective. When you exercise and exert yourself, your body also releases the “feel-good” hormones called endorphins. These chemicals are responsible for many positive feelings. They are also the body’s natural painkillers.
Lack of sleep is terrible for your mental health. It can cause mood swings, irritability, depression, weight gain, and other harmful trends. According to research, people who exercise regularly report much better sleep, both in quality and quantity. Regular exercise improves your mental health by helping your body establish better sleep patterns. Additionally, exercise has been shown to increase the amount of “slow-wave” sleep, which is the deepest and most restorative phase of sleep.
Many people choose to exercise for the benefits to their physical appearance. And it’s true that weight loss and muscle definition are big benefits of regular workouts. However, exercise has a lot more to offer your self-esteem than just the way you look. Working out gives you great opportunities to set and accomplish goals, build friendships, and try new things. All of these activities increase your sense of self-worth and remind you of your capabilities. By choosing to do difficult things, you make yourself stronger and improve the way you view yourself.
Exercise is excellent for your body. However, it is just as important for your mind and emotional well-being. By prioritizing physical activity, you are also making your mental health a priority. Are you looking for a gym full of supportive and knowledgeable staff to help you on your fitness journey? Look no further than FitPro West. We look forward to meeting you and making your goals come true.