Surprising Mental Health Benefits of Exercising
Most of us have heard at least once in our lives, someone recommend that we start exercising. The initial reaction of most would be to immediately disregard this, and be a tad offended as well. However, don’t think of it as an insult, and instead, you should be thanking that person who told you to start having a physically active lifestyle. Here, we’ve laid out only some of the mental health benefits you can get when you exercise.
1. Reduces Stress Levels
Even without this being pointed out, a lot of people already realize the benefits of exercising to relieve stress. There’s a reason why some people feel a lot better after working out at the gym or just by taking a refreshing walk outside. Exercise increases norepinephrine, the chemical in the brain that can moderate stress.
2. Increases happy chemicals
Even when you aren’t necessarily having a rough day, a jog up the hill can do wonders for your happy you are. There have been studies that find exercise being a very effective way to fight depression.
3. Makes you more self-confident
On the most basic level, exercise can definitely have you feeling like you’re on top of the world. This comes from exercise giving feeling good about themselves, especially when exercising in the outdoors.
4. Stops cognitive decline
One of the things that we have to accept in life, is that as we get older we will start to be a bit more airheaded than we used to be. Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s affect our memory and kill brain cells.
5. Relaxes you
A lot of people, especially in the younger generation, suffer from anxiety. However, these episodes of anxious breakdowns can be significantly lowered when people start to work out. Even a 20-minute jog in the park can do wonders for your anxiety, and you will find yourself feeling more relaxed that if you just stayed at home and watched TV.
6. Enhances memory
Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning. Because of this, research has connected children’s brain development to their level of physical fitness. This doesn’t mean, however, that exercise is only for the young.
7. Helps fight addiction
When physically active, dopamine is released in the brain, which can alleviate the feeling of wanting that something that you are addicted to. This doesn’t just apply to drugs; food, cigarettes, and alcohol are sometimes more damaging than any substance. So if you want to stop a bad habit, go ahead and hit the gym.
8. Helps you be more productive
Whenever you’re at work and you feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t get anything done, get out of the office and talk a walk around the block. Research shows that people who are physically active are more productive compared to those who just sit behind their desk all day.
9. Increases creativity
A lot of people end their workouts with a shower or a bath; but how about we bust out the easel and canvas instead? Going on an extensive gym workout has shown to boost a person’s creativity even two hours after the workout. When you just feel like you have hit a wall during your creative process, take a walk outdoors and you might feel more inspired when you get back.
10. Helps you help others
Exercise is very rarely a solo flight. When people see other people exercise regularly, they will feel more inclined to do it themselves. Remember that friend that told you to start exercising? It’s your turn to be that friend. You know that as long as they have the time, it doesn’t really hurt anyone to take time out of the day to exercise, and after all, you know that they will end up better for it overall.
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