It is not an understatement to say that the mental health of everyone over the past 2 years has been a non stop roller coaster. As life starts to adjust back to normal & so does our well being, it is important to consider the wide variety of benefits exercise can have on one's mental health. Simple things from day to day actions to a consistent workout schedule can play more of a role than you may already think. For example, a recent Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study discovered that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of depressive disorders by 26%. Obviously, mental health is a spectrum and is different for everyone, but here are some of the ways that exercise coincides with our well being.
Improving Quality Of Sleep
As much as working out strengthens your body and mind, it also has the potential to relax them. According to researchers, specifically aerobic exercises will increase the amount of slow wave sleep your body receives. People who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality & Quantity that same night. Researchers haven’t necessarily been able to pinpoint the correlation between working out & sleep, but it simply comes down to the fact that working out can tire out the body. Timing your workout to improve sleep is imperative, people should generally work out 1-2 hours before going to sleep.
Better Thinking And Cognitive Skills
When we exercise our bodies, they release endorphins. Not only are these the body's natural painkiller, but when released, they help us focus and feel mentally prepared. According to an article published by Harvard Health, Exercise can also boost memory and thinking indirectly by improving mood, activeness and sleep, and by reducing stress, fatigue and anxiety. Problems in these areas continuously cause or contribute to cognitive impairment. It suddenly affects the body directly by causing physiological changes such as reduced insulin resistance and inflammation. Not to mention encouraging the production of growth factors, chemicals that influence the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, as well as the abundance, survival, and complete health of new brain cells.
This one might be a given, but self esteem will come hand in hand with exercise. There is a variety of ways that one might achieve self esteem from exercise. The potential improvement in appearance can have a positive effect on self esteem. However, it is important to not overdo it when trying to achieve any type of physique. Thirty minutes of moderate aerobic activity is enough to release beta-endorphins, which boost feelings of happiness, and lower cortisol levels, which are linked to stress and anxiety.
Exercise has been shown in studies to be as helpful as medication in treating mild to moderate depression. Exercise is an amazing depression debilitator, as it promotes many changes in one's lifestyle. It encourages a variety of changes in the brain, such as neuronal development, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that boost sensations of calm and well-being. It also causes your brain to release endorphins, which are powerful molecules that excite you and make you feel happy. Finally, exercise can work as a distraction, creating the ability to find some solitude to interrupt the loop of bad feelings that contribute to stress and depression. Physical symptoms of depression include poor sleep, low energy, changes in appetite, body aches, and heightened pain perception, all of which can lead to a lack of motivation to exercise. It's a difficult pattern to break, but simply getting up and exercising for a few minutes can help. Begin with five minutes of walking or any other activity you enjoy each day. Five minutes of activity will soon become ten, and ten will become fifteen.
One benefit that may come as a surprise is that exercise is a natural and effective way to combat anxiety. From reducing tension & stress to boosting energy in all aspects, there are many ways to utilize exercise as an anti anxiety tactic. One study suggests that “zoning in” on your workout will bring the biggest benefits. "Try to pay attention to the sensation flow of your breathing, or the feel of the wind on your body. You'll not only improve your physical condition faster by adding this mindfulness element, but you'll also be able to break the flow of incessant anxieties going through your thoughts." According to an article posted from Harvard, engaging in exercise diverts you from thing you are anxious about.
- Moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious.
- Getting your heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including serotonin, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and endocannabinoids.
- Exercise activates frontal regions of the brain responsible for executive function and internal Parts which helps control the amygdala, our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival.
- Exercising regularly builds up many resources that bolster resilience against stormy emotions
Our stress is displayed in a variety of different ways. For some, it may be physical while for others it is mentally. Exercising is one of the best ways possible to alleviate stress. Exercise can help your body cope with stress by simulating the impacts of stress, such as the fight-or-flight response, and allowing your body parts and systems to practice working together to overcome those effects. This can also have beneficial consequences on your health, such as protecting your cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems from the negative impacts of stress. You may find that focusing on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you stay calm, clear, and focused and dedicated in everything you do as you begin to consistently shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity and exercise.
These are just some of the many ways that exercise can be utilized to improve your Mental health. Whether it be a small or large difference, the many positive changes that come with working out will not go unnoticed. We here at mysupplements.ca are excited to help you continue or start this journey with a wide variety of products that will help you meet your goals.