You might not even be able to remember the number of times you have heard people tell you that exercising is good for you. It is heard and unheard of enough times that physical activity and exercise improve your health. But did you know that state of your physical being directly impacts your mental well-being, and vice-versa? The physical health benefits of regular exercise are well known. But did you know that regular exercise is also good for your emotional health? So here are some reasons explaining the benefits of exercise on the mind.
Benefits of exercise on the mind:
Helps reduce stress and anxiety
Exercise is a natural way to reduce stress and anxiety. Regular exercise boosts adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels. These are the hormones that are involved in keeping your focus intact. They work against neurological disorders. They also keep you calm by reducing anxiety and stress.
Releases happy hormones
Exercising 30 minutes a day boosts your happiness. Researchers found that people who exercised for 30 minutes a day on most days considered themselves to be 30% more happy than the ones who didn’t. Regular exercises release hormones like serotonin that influences our levels of happiness. Research has shown that exercise alleviates the symptoms of depression. A study conducted by SWAN found that regular physical activity can subdue depressive symptoms.
Working out improves cell production in the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. A study by the University of Muenster found that running improves vocabulary retention among adults. A study by the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise can get your heart and sweat glands pumping. This boosts the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Studies have also shown an increase in brain-derived protein which is known to be responsible for decision making & learning. The cardiovascular boost also creates new brain cells and improves overall brain performance.
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine revealed that participants who indulged in a rigorous physical activity regularly not only got fit physically. They also enhanced cognitive performance and brain function. This meant greater concentration during tasks requiring better executive control.
Helps sleep better
Another one of the benefits of exercise on the mind is that it improves your sleeping pattern. Physical exercise relax stressed muscles. And stresses the correct muscles to strengthen them. This tires our body creating deeper sleep patterns. Exercise is also good for setting sleeping patterns. Your body’s temperature winds down post-workout signalling the need for sleep. Yoga and stretching are ideal for late in the evening workouts, to help you sleep better.
Regular exercise helps keep you happy, keeps lifestyle diseases at bay, and keeps you physically fit. All these help enhance self-esteem. They make you feel good about yourself and keep you motivated to keep up with your regime. A study conducted with more than around 250 participants resulted that health and fitness were associated with high self- esteem. A good self-image will help you deal with life in a healthier way.
Helps your brain deal with complexity
A study published in The Journals of Gerontology examined that aerobic fitness training can help in increasing brain volume. The central nervous system is maintained by the training which enhances cognitive functioning in older adults. The participants who went through training for 6 months. They did better at tasks such as problem-solving and paying attention for longer durations.
Now that you know the benefits of exercise on your mind pick any activity that you enjoy. Combine it with a low, medium or high-intensity workout for a fitness regime. You will start feeling the magic of physical activity in your brain. Don’t just exercise for your body, exercise for your mind. Haven’t you heard, a happy mind makes for a happy life!
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