If you’ve ever experienced symptoms of mental illness, you are not alone.
In 2020, almost 53 million Americans struggled with mental illness, making up just over 20 percent of the population. While issues with mental health can be overwhelming, there are natural ways that you can tackle your symptoms.
We know that exercising has a lot of physical benefits but you might be surprised to know how it can affect your mental health. Not only can exercise help you deal with your symptoms, but it can also work as a preventive measure to optimize your mental health.
Keep reading to learn more about how exercising affects your mental health.
Exercise Fights Symptoms Of Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world. For some, it can be debilitating and get in the way of daily functioning. For others, it can even have an impact on their physical health.
Exercise is a great way to prevent symptoms of depression. It helps to boost immunity, produce endorphins, and take your mind off your thoughts. Focusing on physical activity can help you gain confidence and cope with your feelings of depression in a healthy way.
Exercise Helps Ease Anxiety
Anxiety is another common mental health disorder. While many people experience anxiety differently, some common symptoms include rapid heartbeat, feelings of fear, constant worry or panic, restlessness, or sweating.
This usually means that your body is releasing too much adrenaline and cortisol, resulting in a feeling of needing to fight, flee, or freeze.
The build-up of physical symptoms in anxiety can be overwhelming and exercise is a great way to use this build-up. Exercise can relax your muscles, distract your attention, and regulate your system.
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Exercise Helps Reduce Stress
Stress can affect just about every area of your life. From work to personal relationships, to your quality of life, stress can make it difficult to function and enjoy daily activities.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall mental health.
Physical activity produces endorphins in your brain that act as natural pain killers and releases happy feelings. Exercising regularly can help you maintain a low level of stress and be able to cope with stress when you face it.
Exercise also gives you the opportunity to release feelings of anger, or aggression in a safe and healthy way.
Exercise Improves Memory And Cognition
When we talk about the endorphins that you release during exercise, they actually have even more benefits than just making you feel good. They also improve your concentration, memory, and mental sharpness.
These endorphins encourage brain cell growth to give you clearer thoughts and better focus. Not only that, but they also help slow down the aging process.
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Exercise Boosts Self-esteem
One of the best ways that exercise can improve your mental health is by boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence.
When you’re feeling down, it can be tempting to neglect your body and give in to a sluggish state. This can lead to weight gain and poor dietary choices that can exacerbate your mental health symptoms.
However, with exercise, you can improve your muscle tone, lose weight, and regain control of your body. This can have a profound impact on your self-esteem and give you the confidence you need to improve your mental health.
Not only does it give you a great sense of achievement, but it can also make you feel stronger and more powerful.
If you want to feel more confident in your exercise routine, pick up some new athletic apparel and get ready to rock it out with your workout routine.
Exercise Promotes Better Sleep
Lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on your mental health.
Each person has their own circadian rhythm which regulates their sleep and wake cycle. A poor cycle can result in insomnia, depression, and sleep disorders. Regular exercise helps to regulate your circadian rhythm to ensure that you get good quality sleep each night.
This allows you to have more energy in the day, function better at school or work, and improve your mental health.
Exercise Helps You Overcome Challenges
Life is full of obstacles and difficult situations.
For many people, these can cause mental and emotional stressors. Some resort to unhealthy habits to deal with these challenges, which make their issues worse and amplify negative emotions.
Working out helps you become more resilient to stressors and equips you to deal with life’s challenges. If you feel strong and powerful during your workout, you will feel the same when tackling a difficult situation outside of the gym.
Exercise Helps You Connect With Others
If you are experiencing issues with your mental health, it is possible that you are avoiding others or staying isolated. Lack of connection with others can also have an impact on your mental health.
A great way to connect with others is by joining a class, like yoga or cycling, to help you get those endorphins going and be around people. Positive connections with others are important for your overall well-being and this is a positive environment to do so.
Start Exercising And Reap the Mental Health Benefits
While mental health symptoms can be difficult to deal with, exercising is a great natural way to help improve your mental health. Exercise helps fight depression and anxiety, reduce stress, improve memory, boost self-esteem, get better sleep, and overcome challenges.
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