It is a fact of life, exercising on a regular basis is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and actually makes you happier.
Scientists have proved time and time again the importance of exercise in helping prevent serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and numerous cancers.
Of course the exercise does not have to be vigorous to have an impact, a regular walk, swim, cycle or workout DVD can help improve your physical and mental health.
Any and all types of exercise can benefit mental health, whether it be team sports, cycling, walking the dog, or even just doing the housework- it doesn’t have to be limited to what can be done in the gym.
Researchers have found that those who benefit most in terms of mental health were those who exercised for 30-60 minutes between three to five times per week- these more regular levels of activity have been shown to help with treatment of even chronic depression.
Here are a few reasons why you should exercise to help your mental health and improve your mood:
De stress – Exercise will help you de stress and give you that euphoric feeling that makes you feel happy and re energised. This makes stress easier to manage and lead to a deeper sense of relaxation.
Lowers anxiety – Exercise decreases tension and worry by reducing muscle tension, lowering blood pressure and puts you in a more relaxed state of mind.
Lifts your mood – Exercise is a very powerful and effective treatment for improving your mood. It also helps you think more clearly and feel more energised throughout the rest of the day.
Huge benefits for depression – Exercise is one of the most successful treatments for depression. Research shows regular exercise is equivalent or better than certain anti depression drugs and has been shown to cut depression rates almost in half.
Helps the brain – Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain decreasing brain cell loss.
The Alzhelmers Association says exercise improves focus, planning and thinking skills. Exercise is also correlated with higher IQ scores and mental gains in cognitive decline through middle age and beyond.
Helps with difficult emotions – As endorphins levels are increased you start to feel more positive within yourself and your thought processes. This will help you deal much better with things like grief and fear – exercise helps channel these emotions elsewhere.
The benefits of exercising go way beyond simply losing some weight and looking better. The physical aspects we all know about, but exercise can have a hugely positive effect mentally and should not be underestimated. Next time you feel low, need a boost and want to reignite your self confidence, rather than reach for tablets, start some regular exercise….the positive effects are often instant.