Exercise and my Mental Health
We all know the benefits of exercise for physical health. But, if you're like me, the time it takes to exercise can be a burden. The work stresses and responsibilities, the low moods we go through, and the feeling that adding another thing to our overfull plate just seems impossible--or even intimidating.
The thing is, exercise is also linked to improved mental health. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve cognitive function, and enhance overall mood and well-being.
Here are some ways in which exercise and mental health are connected:
Release of Endorphins: Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals that create feelings of happiness and euphoria. These endorphins help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and can improve overall mood.
Reduced Stress: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress levels. It helps to reduce the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body and increases the production of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and serotonin.
Improved Sleep: Exercise can also help to improve the quality of your sleep, which is crucial for mental health. Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep duration and quality and reduce the risk of sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Boosted Self-Esteem: Regular exercise can also improve self-esteem and confidence. When you exercise, you set goals and achieve them, which can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. This can help to boost your self-esteem and confidence.
Social Interaction: Exercise can also provide an opportunity for social interaction, which is important for mental health. Joining a sports team or a fitness class can help you to meet new people and build social connections.
Improved Brain Function: Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, memory, and learning. This is because exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
Will exercise cure your depression? Maybe, maybe not. Will it cure your anxiety? Maybe, maybe not. But can it help improve your mood, help your brain function better, make you feel better, and give you a better self-confidence? Absolutely!
Regular exercise doesn't need to be at a gym, it doesn't need expensive equipment, and you don't even have to leave your home. It just takes a commitment to moving more, setting aside a small, focused time, and a willingness to engage. Just the doing of it will have a major effect on your mental health! With our fast-paced lives, and our personal struggles we may feel like discounting exercise.
But the question for your long term mental and physical help is: can you afford not to?
If you are struggling a little, or a lot, please reach out to The King's Forge Counseling today via our contact form at www.thekingsforge.net