6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

With Christmas done and dusted, many people are in the gym with the focus of losing weight, building muscle or trying to get that incredible looking body. However, health offers much more than that. Exercising is like a Swiss Army Knife, it does so many good things for our body, which in turn impacts how we carry ourselves.  A number of studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits. A number of celebrities have spoken about the mental health benefits of exercise can have, such as Lena Dunham, who said “To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. It isn’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.”

1. Boosting Happy Chemicals 

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and better outlook on life.

2. Helps with Anxiety 

Exercise is a natural and effective way to help with anxiety. Vogue Williams has also spoken about the importance of going to the gym to help with her anxiety, “People always ask me about my workouts and how I can go to the gym so often. Nobody loves going to the gym but one of the main reasons I go is because it’s great for your mind, not just your body,” she explained. I get anxiety and I find the only thing that really helps is training.”

3. Reduces Stress 

Exercise is fantastic way to reduce stress as it helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. You now know that exercise can help reduce stress, but wait, you have no time for exercise? Don’t worry, there is good news. Any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever, this can be walking or cycling to work, yoga classes or even hiking.

4. Better Sleep 

Are you having trouble sleeping? Exercise can help you give you a better night’s sleep! According to research, exercising consistently can lead to improvements in sleep over time, but not immediately.

5. Improve Self-Confidence 

Working out can be a great way to boost your confidence, not only will you feel better but seeing your body change will do wonders to your confidence. You will not only gain physical strength but gain mental health too.  Make sure to set realistic goals to boost your motivation and confidence.

6. Improve Work Flow 

If you are unsatisfied with how productive you are, then the solution could be exercise. For most people a typical day involves sitting down on a bus/car, sitting on your office chair, back to sitting on a bus/car, laying on the couch and finally to bed. This is not a good way to live. Multiple studies have shown the positive effect that activity has on productivity, so get more work done today by incorporating exercise into your life. Getting into a routine for exercising can be hard at first, however Dan Smullen of One Escape Gyms says, “It only takes 21 days to make exercise a habit, so what are you waiting for?”

Happy exercising!

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