The mental health benefits of becoming more physically fit are becoming more and more prevalent. In this post, we’ll cover the mental health benefits you can gain from being active.
How do you feel after a workout? Even if you’re knackered, you feel pretty pleased with yourself after a good session, right? Once the initial strain subsides after a workout, it’s common to feel like you have more energy shortly afterwards and those things on your mind might not seem so big as before. While they’re intangible those benefits are as real as – and arguably more important than – the results you see around your waistline.
“A prescription of exercise can help you have a healthy mind,” says GP Dr Paul Stillman, from Media Medics. “Exercise stimulates positive endorphins, clears your head and lifts your mood. I think we’ll see more and more people prescribed exercise as a mood-booster.”
Healthy Body = Healthy Mind
It’s becoming more apparent how important exercise is for our overall wellbeing, both mental and physical. New research from the Department of Health published in October 2017, reported that 12 per cent of depression cases could be prevented with just an hour of exercise each week. Upping your workouts to three times a week could reduce your risk of depression by as much as 30 per cent.
Does Exercise Help Handle Stress?
Exercise helps increase your overall health and feel of well being, which puts more pep in your step every day.
But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
1. It gets endorphins going.
Exercise helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. This function can be gained from anything from a brisk walk to a short-intense gym session.
2. It improves your mood.
Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, can help relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress cortisol levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life in general.
Find your endorphin-boosting workout
If the thought of hauling yourself out of bed to jump around doesn’t appeal to you then start slowly. You can always change your exercise routine or workout if you’re not feeling it, but all it takes is a few minutes of low-intensity exercise to trigger the release of pain-relieving endorphins. Every stretch releases tension and every movement makes oxygen flow a little faster. Look out for your tipping point, because the more aware you are of the moment your mood warms up, the better it feels.
Workouts you can enjoy
Building friendships.. try group training or team sports like football or rugby.
“Social connectivity is incredibly important,” says Hayley. “When we’re struggling we tend to isolate ourselves, but being with other people can motivate you to get out there. Playing team sports is great if you feel lonely.”
To help feeling calm..
A great way to calm your mind.. Is trying yoga, pilates or t’ai chi. Exercises that work with your breathing help you relax and can be very calming. These exercise techniques help calm your mind and which leads to improving your mood.
If you’re someone who suffers from a lot of tension, then try boxing or HIIT training. The key is to find a workout you enjoy, because you’re more likely to stick to it for the long-term. After exercising, take some time to stop and notice how your mood feels and the satisfaction you get will keep you coming back for more. You’ll notice the feel-good benefits of exercising regularly, not just the physical results.
Have a great week,