Exercise! The first thing that probably comes to your mind is strenuous work outs involving lots of sweating and heavy breathing. The main reason as to why we partake in these sorts of physical activities is to sculpt a strong body and to have a flattering and fit appearance.
In reality, there is much more that stems from exercising than just these physical factors of what we want to look like. Did you know that exercise is also effective in reducing anxiety, depression, and stress?
“Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better.”
There are several studies that show the positive correlation between exercise and depression, anxiety, stress, sleep, energy, memory and thinking, and overall mood. Exercise not only promotes muscle growth in the areas that you are working out on, but it promotes the growth of muscles in your brain. Physical activities and exercise cause your brain to release powerful chemicals such as endorphins, which relieves inflammation, tension, and increases energy levels causing a more positive overall mood and state of well-being.
“A recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.”
Apart from exercise effectively reducing depression, anxiety, and stress, it has a massive linkage with one of the most common known mental illnesses- ADHD. Whether an individual struggles with mild to moderate or a high level of ADHD, exercise will always be an effective outlet that involves zero prescriptions and zero side effects. Exercising naturally increases the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. All of which determine the level at which an individual is able to focus, give attention, and obtain memory. These properties seem so easy and so simple to us, we don’t even think twice about them. But, in the grand scheme of things they are extremely important, affecting us on a daily basis and holding a lifelong impact.
The mind and body are so closely linked it is without doubt that these mental health benefits are a sure thing. Our body and muscles are able to move and contract solely due to our nervous systems just being present and functioning! The nervous system is central to our entire body and without it we would not be able to exercise let alone do any physical movement. This goes to show that exercise is much more than just getting built and having a toned physique. Exercise is for the benefit of our mind, our mental health, and our day to day lifestyle!