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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.