WE often exercise to improve our fitness or lose weight, but there’s a lot of talk these days about exercise benefitting our minds, too.
With one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year. It’s really important, now more than ever, to take care of our mental wellbeing.
Exercise can be great to lift your mood and distract your mind. In fact, some doctors prescribe exercise as part of treatment for mild to moderate depression.
All around us people are taking up mindfulness techniques such as meditation, using special apps and trying adult colouring books, but exercise is just as good to take care of your mental health. Here’s why.
1. Releases endorphins
It’s well known that exercise releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals boost your spirits and make you feel good.
2. Relieves stress and tension
According to Mind.org.uk, Exercise can be particularly helpful to release the stress and tension associated with anxiety. By noticing the sensation of movement you’re becoming more grounded and aware of your body.
3. Improves concentration and motivation
Regular exercise can boost the chemicals dopamine and serotonin which can also improve your focus and motivation.
4. Boosts self esteem
Improvements to your body and shape can help to boost your self esteem. But it’s the feeling of self-worth that you get from completing a workout challenge that can really help you to feel good about yourself.
5. Improves sleep
We live in a world where we’re constantly complaining about being tired. A good workout will make you physically tired, which can help you to sleep better and regulate your sleep patterns.
But what does being physically active mean? Technically, it’s anything that involves moving your body.
If you’re looking to improve your mental health with exercise, this doesn’t mean you have to instantly take up triathlons.
Even something as simple as going for a walk with your friends can count as exercise and massively benefit your mental health.
Ultimately, doing something that tires your body will begin to tire your mind, which can help to clear your thoughts and make you calmer.
So next time you reach for your colouring book or knitting, why not head to the gym instead? You can work on your body and mind at the same time.
Everybody’s Gym team.