Exercise for Mental Health

Why Workouts are Considered Beneficial for Mental Health?

Contrary to the popular belief, exercise is not merely about gaining muscles and losing weight. Though, yes, exercise definitely brings all those benefits, but actually as a by-product.

Proper exercising routines like Yoga and Pilates can better your stamina, trim your waistline, and ultimately add a couple of years to your overall life.

But most importantly, the primary reason why people actually work out is because it enhances their sense of well-being. Fun-filled exercise sessions like dance or Zumba leave a person with more energy; better sleep cycles, and reinvigorates the overall body.

All these contribute to better mental health.

To breakdown the benefits of exercise for mental health down, we have made a list of all the ways exercise helps.
How exercising helps mental health

  1. Fights stress
    In today’s day and age, stress triggers are practically everywhere. And stress is not good for your bodily functions. The after effects of stress are far too much for your body to take. With repeated exposure to stress time and again, you may get tense in your neck, shoulders and eventually lead to excruciating pains in the neck and the back.

    Overtime, you may even start feeling a definite tightness in your chest, or muscle cramps. Your eating and sleeping schedule go for a toss. You experience insomnia, heartburn, diarrhea, and even frequent urination.

    When you practice targeted Yoga poses, your body produces Cortisol which is considered excellent in battling the after effects of stress. It helps control blood sugar levels, regulates metabolism and sharpens your memory too.

  2. Keeps anxiety at bay
    Anxiety is very common these days. On a global scale, 284 million people experience Anxiety disorder. This makes anxiety the most prevalent mental disorder.

    Therapy may sound like a good way to get out of anxiety disorder, but exercising is a natural way and considered to be the most effective anti-anxiety treatment.

    With dance classes like Zumba, try to feel as many things as you can, like the sensation of your feet hitting the ground with every dance move, or your breathing pattern, or even the sensation of wind hitting your skin and hair. This mindfulness will shut out the feeling of anxiety and give your mind the much-needed break from worries that occupy you.

  3. Most effective depression therapy
    According to a paper published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, it was noticed that people who did not exercise were 44% more likely to get depressed. Depression is known to grapple one at the unlikeliest of times. You need to take the necessary measures to keep it at bay.

    Exercising is a great way to keep depression at bay. The way exercise achieves this is by promoting all kinds of changes in the brain that enable neural growth, reduces inflammation and also releases endorphins. You find yourself being in a much better mood due to a regular release of endorphins.

    Endorphins are also commonly known as “feel good” hormones, which make fighting depression relatively easier.

  4. Helps treat PTSD and Trauma
    Trauma can happen to anyone. It could also be the after effect of someone else’s actions, which stays with you for decades later. Eventually, with time, your nervous system starts functioning around the trauma you faced, instead of getting over it.

    The main aspect of exercise is that it requires focus. And as we know, focus is a uni-directional thing. When you focus on a certain thing, you cannot think about anything else. It leads to your mind focusing on things in life that you can do something about.

    Even when you attend therapy to battle PTSD, Practitioners usually prescribe a healthy amount of workout as it is considered incredibly effective.

  5. Relieves one from ADHD
    ADHD is a form of hyperactivity where restlessness and staying in one place or staying with one thought for long becomes difficult. ADHD is most commonly seen in children.

    When you allow a certain individual to exercise, all the pent-up excess energy finds an outlet, eventually calming the individual. In the long run, it also enhances memory, focus, and mood.

    How working out achieves this is by boosting the brain’s dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and serotonin levels which enhance focus and attention. Much to your surprise, exercise seems to have the same effect as Ritalin and Adderall – minus the side-effects, obviously.

In Conclusion
Exercise is beyond mere workout for your body alone. You got to understand that health comprises of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. All need to function in harmony for you to live a fruitful life.

Exercise pushes your mental and physical limitations to the fullest. You start pushing your body to do things you never thought you could do before. Eventually, over time, your confidence and self-esteem levels boost up with regular sessions in different forms of workouts like Yoga, Pilates, dance or Zumba.

You find yourself carrying out tasks more effectively and productively, which leads to a greater flow of endorphins through your system. This leaves you with a better self-image, and you are able to live life fully.

The overall effects of exercise are far too many to limit to one area. Getting into shape and functioning at higher levels of stamina also boosts up your effectiveness.

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