For most of us, exercise is a part of our everyday routine. Whether it’s taking a brisk walk, lifting weights, or moving through some yoga, daily movement has so many physical benefits. While most think to link exercise to physical improvements, what we might not realize is exercise has a huge impact on our mental health.
Studies show that daily exercise can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress. When your body experiences these symptoms, it can overproduce the stress hormone cortisol, causing your nervous system to go into overdrive. Releasing endorphins during a workout can help calm these nerves and get you back to a calmer state.
These endorphins, also known as the brain’s “happy chemicals,” send pain signals to the brain and minimize uncomfortable feelings, like anxiety and depression. Depression affects more than 264 million people worldwide, but people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience these symptoms.
With many of us spending more time at home, it’s not uncommon for these kinds of feelings to creep in. Scheduling time into your day to get some form of physical activity can also start to have an impact on your motivation levels – something we could all use during these times!
Exercising can also help boost your confidence and self-esteem. Physical activity makes your body feel good, which in turn makes you feel good about yourself. Challenge yourself and set some personal goals. Maybe you want to hit a new personal squat record or take a minute off your mile time. Whatever it is, setting this goal can help keep your motivation up and help you take on other challenges with ease.
Some other mental health benefits of exercise include:
- Improved sleep
- Improved social skills and social life
- Improved sex life
- Reduce chronic diseases
The best thing about exercise is that you can cater it to your needs and lifestyle. If you’re not into lifting heavy weights, try a low to medium impact routine like Zumba, TRX or yoga. Consider grabbing an accountability partner that can help motivate you and help you stay focused. No matter the exercise, as long as you’re getting up and moving, your body and your mind will thank you.
Follow the tips in this guide and watch how quickly your life can change for the better.