Exercising helps to improve physical health, however did you know that it plays an important role in mental health as well? Exercising on a regular basis can help to improve mental wellbeing and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. In this article, we look at the numerous benefits of exercise on mental health and discuss why it should be an important part of every person’s mental wellbeing.
First of all, it’s important to remember that for any physical activity to be beneficial for mental health it needs to be in line with a person’s strengths and capabilities. Taking up activities such as running, cycling, swimming, or other sports that don’t present a challenge to your physical capabilities will result in minimal benefits, so it’s important to be realistic. Likewise, it’s important to remember that exercise isn’t the only help for mental ill-health, and that it is important to seek help if you’re struggling with depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at some of the ways in which exercise can improve mental health.
First, regular physical activity releases endorphins within the body. Endorphins are chemicals known as hormones which help to lift a person’s mood and reduce stress. Additionally, exercise can have an effect on the brain’s serotonin levels – a chemical which plays a role in stabilizing mood and helping to feel upbeat.
Exercising not only helps a person to feel happier, but it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels. This is because physical activity helps to reduce both stress hormones and tension in the muscles. This can help to relax and calm both the body and mind.
Exercising can help to improve a person’s sleep pattern. Poor sleep can lead to a number of mental health issues and conditions, including depression. Therefore, by ensuring that you get adequate sleep, you can help to improve your mental wellbeing. Exercise can help to boost sleep quality by increasing the amount of time spent in deep sleep, which is the most restorative part of the sleep cycle.
Finally, exercising can help to boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Trying new activities and taking part in enjoyable physical activities can be very rewarding and make a person feel more positive about themselves. When a person feels good about themselves, it can have a positive effect on the ability to think clearly, perform daily tasks and cope with problems in daily life.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to taking regular exercise and making it a part of your mental wellbeing plan. Exercise can help to reduce stress, improve mood and boost self-confidence, as well as improving sleep quality. Therefore, make sure that you take the time to be active as it could be the key to mental success.