We all know that exercise is good for the body, but did you know it can also boost your mood, help you focus, improve your sleep pattern, and help you deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and so much more?
What are the mental health benefits of exercise?
Exercise is not just about how good your cardio is or your muscle size, sure, exercise can improve your physical health and your physique, boost your fat burn, increase your libido, and help you live a longer, better life, but that’s not what motivates a lot of people to work out.
People who consistently take part in some sort of fitness routine tend to do so because it gives them a massive boost of feel-good hormones. They have more energy throughout the day, sleep better at night, have more clarity, and feel calmer, they also tend to have a better self-image, speaking positive about themselves and their lives. It’s also magical medicine for many mental health challenges.
Regular exercise can have a huge positive impact on depression, anxiety, other mental health issues, you don’t have to be a fitness fan for it to help you feel better.
Research shows the minimal amounts of exercise can make a big difference, no matter what age you are or where your fitness level is at, you can use exercise as a powerful tool to help with mental health issues, improve your energy, boost your feel-good hormones, and basically just get more out of life.
Exercise can also help provide:
A sharper memory, the same endorphins that make you feel good also help you concentrate and boost clarity to help you keep focused on the tasks at hand.
Better self-esteem, consistent training can be an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes a daily habit and not a chore, it can give you a sense of self-worth and make you feel more powerful. You’ll like the way you look, and you’ll also feel great about yourself.
Hitting your goals, yes, even small one, you’ll feel you have achieved something.
Better sleep at night, even short bursts of exercise in the morning or afternoon can help you use up some energy throughout your day, when our energy isn’t used, it can lead to stress or anxiety, it has a negative effect on our body, and in turn becomes a restless night’s sleep, tossing and turning. You can even try some yoga in the evening, this can promote relaxation and boost your melatonin, helping you sleep easier.
Energy boost, getting your heart rate up during exercise will give you more get-up-and-go.
Start off with walking, just a few minutes per day and increase the intensity of your workout as you feel confident and more energized.
Resilience when faced with any mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help build coping mechanisms and lead you to deal with issues that crop up in a healthy way, instead of heading straight for alcohol, drugs, or pharmaceutical drugs, even other negative behaviour’s that ultimately only heighten the symptoms, regular exercise can also help boost your immune system, making you feel healthy and so much stronger.
Overthinking creates obstacles
Thinking about getting fit, is more exhausting than getting up and just doing it, overthinking creates so many obstacles in your mind that you just end up giving in before you even start, even though you know that exercise will help you feel better, making the first move is still easier said than done.
The obstacles very real in your mind, especially when you are struggling with a mental health issue.
Here are some common barriers and how you can get past them.
Feeling exhausted: the last thing you want to do is workout, when you’re tired you think working out will just make you feel even more exhausted, the truth of it is, moving your body and exercise is a powerful energy booster. Regular exercise can massively increase your energy levels and reduce tiredness. So, if you are feeling tired, do something different don’t just lay there, put your trainer’s on and go on a 5-minute walk, once you get moving, I bet you’ll have more energy and want to keep walking, it’s all about changing up your energy, you lay about and you are going to feel like a sloth.
Feeling overwhelmed: If you’re stressed or depressed, the thought of adding more to your to do list will give you even more anxiety, having a busy schedule is overwhelming. Especially if you have children, finding childcare while you exercise, so why don’t you get them to join you, play around the park with the ball, lead your kids by example and while also having fun.
Feeling lost: If you have never worked out before this can be quite daunting, if you can afford it get a personal trainer, or watch a video on you tube.
Start slowly and easy, nothing too strenuous or you will feel it the next few days and this can put you off doing it again.
Feelings of inferiority: All you can think about is everyone watching me? The fact of the matter is, that everyone in the gym or class is also feeling the same, or they are thinking about how they look and feel.
If it makes you feel better, get a friend to join in, make it fun.
It’s all about the experience and enjoying yourself through the process.
Achieving your goals, even the smallest fitness goals will help you gain confidence, keep the promises you make to yourself, this is the most important of all for self-confidence.
Stop letting yourself down.
You don’t have to spend hours upon hours in a gym or do crazy high intense workouts that you don’t enjoy, to experience the benefits of exercise.
These tips can help you figure out what you do enjoy so that you can start to feel better, look better, and get more out of life.
Make exercise a fun part of you and your family’s everyday life