Everyone knows the physical benefits of regular exercise. It boosts your overall health, improves the quality of sleep, speeds up the healing process, and helps you shed unwanted pounds.
Is Regular Exercise a Tool for Mental Health Improvement?
But do you know that it is a great tool to use to improve your mental health? In fact, physical health isn’t what motivates the vast majority of people to exercise regularly. It rejuvenates the mind, creates a general sense of wellbeing, sharpens memory, increases the ability to concentrate, and helps a person relax. Exercise also makes people optimistic. The feel-good hormone that the body releases during a training session makes you forget your negative experiences.
Here are some of the amazing health benefits that regular exercise offers:
- It eliminates depression
Exercising regularly is a scientifically proven drug used to treat depression. During physical activity, the brain and spinal cord produce the feel-good hormone. That makes you happy and euphoric for a while. Its effects are quite pronounced, so even doctors recommend an exercise routine before prescribing medication for the disorders like depression and anxiety.
- Regular exercise improves your sleep
After a few minutes of vigorous physical activity, your body needs time to recover. This is how your brain tells your body to be tired. It helps you get a deep and long sleep. This is perhaps the most visible effect of the training. Those who do not sleep well will never be physically fit. Fortunately, your brain has you covered in these cases.
- They boost your self-confidence
When you are at a gym you are sure to be confident and sociable. This effect is carried over to other aspects of your life. Spending time in the gym also creates a positive self-image. Remember, respecting yourself is the first step in developing self-confidence.
- You enjoy your time outdoors
If possible, try to find an outdoor space to exercise. This contributes to your positive self-image. You can try anything; Mountaineering, hiking or just jogging in your favorite park for a while. Your body also gets the vitamin D it needs when you’ve been in the sun for a while. Be sure to wear sunscreen as you need to protect yourself from UV damage.
- Exercise slows down cognitive decline
As you get older, your brain starts to decline. The statement may seem a bit bitter, but that is the truth to be accepted. The health conditions like dementia destroy the cells of your brain. This affects its performance and regular exercise slows this process down so you can stay intelligent a little longer.
- You overcome dependencies without your knowing it
Your brain rewards you for anything that gives you pleasure with dopamine. Unfortunately, this is the thing that drugs do. But the reward cycle they create makes you addicted to them. This is where practice comes in to help. Exercise provides the distraction your brain needs to eliminate cravings for harmful substances.
- You work smarter
Lack of inspiration is a natural phenomenon when working for hours. But a little break can be enough to spark that creativity in you. Studies suggest that professionals who exercise regularly get more things done in the short amount of time available.
- Physical activity will recharge you
Are you frustrated with your automated life? Exercise for a while. When you exercise, your body gets the extra oxygen and nutrients your body needs. As a result, your heart and lungs begin to perform at their best. This will make you feel energized and make everyday activities easier to enjoy.
These findings pose the next question; how much sport should a person do? The answer depends on your physical condition. But the Department of Health and Human Services has the following recommendations for an average healthy adult:
- Aerobic exercise: More than 150 minutes for moderate activity. You may only need 75 minutes if you choose to do a rigorous workout. Someone who chooses a combination of these can distribute the time in a healthy way.
- Strength training: Twice a week. Try repeating a set of a tiresome exercise like lifting weights 12 times in a row.
If time is tight, you can choose a shorter duration and spread it out over the week.
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