Exercise is undoubtedly good for you and is not only good for your body but also your mental health. It has been shown that exercise can help to improve anxiety, ADHD, depression etc. It has also been found to improve your memory, improve the quality of your sleep, reduce stress and improve your mood. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to become a fitness fanatic in order to experience all of these benefits. According to research, a little bit of exercise can help to make a huge difference. It doesn’t matter how old or fit you are, you can use exercise to improve your health and well being.
Can exercise improve your mental health?
Exercising can do much more for you than increasing the size of your muscles or improving your aerobic capability. Of course, exercise will improve your health and give you a small waistline while making you look a lot more streamlined and aesthetic. However, these benefits aren’t the real reason that makes people want to remain active.
Most people who exercise on a regular basis, do so because it makes them feel good and provides a greater sense of well being. They typically feel a lot more energetic during the day, get better sleep at night, have improved memory and typically feel a lot more positive about life and more relaxed. Exercise also acts as a medicine for those who have mental health issues.
A Look At The Effects Of Exercise On Depression
It has been found that exercise has a positive effect on moderate or mild depression and is as effective as an antidepressant. Best of all, exercise does not have any negative side effects and it can help to alleviate your depression while helping you from relapsing as well.
Exercise is great at getting rid of depression for lots of different reasons. It helps to promote a great deal of changes in your brain such as increasing neural growth, reducing the amount of inflammation in your body as well as promoting a feeling of well being. When you exercise, your brain releases lots of endorphins which help to improve your mood and make you feel good. Exercise can also provide a great deal of distraction which can help you to get away from negative thoughts that cause depression.
Benefits Of Exercise For Anxiety
Exercise helps to greatly reduce anxiety in most people. It does so by reducing the stress and tension in your body which helps to increase your mental and physical energy. These feelings are enhanced through the release of endorphins. Basically, any sort of activity that gets you to move, will help to reduce your anxiety. It is important that you pay attention during the activity as opposed to simply zoning out.
You can do so by focusing on the sensations in your body as your feet hit the ground. You can also focus on the rhythm for your breathing as well as how the wind feels on your skin. By becoming more mindful during exercise, it will help you to improve the condition of your body while also calming your mind.
How Exercise Affects Stress
Your body feels very different when you’re under a great deal of stress and your muscles would become quite tense, causing headaches, body pains, neck pains etc. You will also feel your chest being tightened and you may experience a high pulse as well as cramps in your muscles. This can result in a variety of issues such as stomach pains, insomnia, heartburn, diarrhea etc. These physical issues can cause even more stress which can create a never-ending cycle.
However, when you exercise, it can help to eliminate this cycle. This will happen because when you exercise, the endorphins that are released will help your body to relax and the tension in your body will naturally reduce. Your body and your mind are very closely linked and as a result, when you relax your body, your mind will relax as well.
How Exercise Affects ADHD
If you exercise on a regular basis, this will help to lower any symptoms caused by ADHD. Therefore, if you have ADHD and you exercise regularly, this will help to greatly improve your ability to concentrate as well as improve your mood and motivation levels. This is because when you exercise your brain will increase its production of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine etc, which will greatly improve your ability to focus. Exercise works quite well and in the same ways that medications like Adderall and Ritalin.
The Effect Of Exercise On Trauma And PTSD
If you suffer from PTSD, then exercise can help you to focus more on your body, which will help you get out of the immobilization caused by PTSD. Clarity Clinic suggest that instead of trying to re-focus your thoughts, you can pay attention to your body and your muscles and this will help to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. It is best to take part in very engaging exercises such as running, weight training, walking, dancing etc.
Lots of outdoor activities can help to reduce PTSD and some of these include rock climbing, biking, hiking, skiing etc.