While it’s sometimes hard to find the motivation, regular exercise can help alleviate stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression and other mood orders. In fact, despite countless research proving its effectiveness, exercise is the most under-prescribed treatment for mental ill-health.
Here are three ways it can help improve your mental health:
It releases endorphins
Ever heard of the term runner’s high? When we exercise, our body produces ‘feel good’ chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins in our brain. In fact, these endorphins are often referred to as ‘natural painkillers’ in the science community. At times, we might not look forward to exercising, but afterwards, we always feel good. You can thank the endorphins for that mood boost.
It relieves stress
Stress can cloud your thinking. So why is exercise one of the most important things you can do when you’ve got a lot going on in your mind? During exercise, your body pumps blood to the brain, which can help give you clarity and peace of mind. In addition, it’s a simple way to take your mind off things and break the cycle of thoughts running through your head. When you’re feeling more relaxed, you’ll also be able to sleep better – often an unwanted side-effect of mental ill-health.
It improves your confidence
Committing to exercise and following through can give you a sense of accomplishment and set you up for success. You don’t have to run a marathon to feel that sense of achievement either. Your first challenge can be as simple as walking to the end of the street and back. Over time, you’ll notice your endurance will improve and you have more energy and perhaps even enthusiasm to walk to the end of the next street and back. Seeing the physical changes to your body such as a slimmer physique or more defined muscle tone is likely to give you an added confidence boost and motivate you to keep going.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that a small amount of exercise is better than no exercise at all and you might have to try a few different activities to find out what works best for you. Check out this article to help you find the motivation to get started. Alternatively, to get in touch with one of our trainers, contact us on 0412 190 842 or via our contact form.