Exercising is important for your physical appearance and health. However, not many people know that it has just as many benefits for your mental health, from improving your concentration to helping you cope with stress. So, if you need another reason to start exercising today, here are five reasons why exercising is good for your mental health.
Keeps you focused
Even though exercising requires energy, it also provides you with mental energy – it can increase your brain function for about two to three hours afterward. Therefore, if you have an important project to finish, consider going for a quick run in order to stay focused for longer. You should also try to move away from your desk from time to time, even just to stretch your legs or get a glass of water. It’ll keep your brain active, especially if you have a desk job and tend to spend a lot of time at a computer.
Most of us feel some amount of stress every day, and stress is not always easy to handle. However, exercising can be a great way to de-stress and unwind after a long day at work. It makes your brain produce chemicals that can reduce the amount of cortisol – the stress hormone. This hormone can also make you forgetful and unfocused, which is another reason why you should exercise as much as you can. Dancing, for example, can be a great way to de-stress, as it allows you to express your emotions, release some energy, and enjoy the music. Just make sure to have the proper equipment, like quality dance leotards, a breathable shirt, and some comfortable shoes.
Helps with depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are mental issues that should always be taken seriously. In most cases, they require professional help, but the symptoms can be relieved through exercising. Working out increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your body, which are the hormones that make you happy. In milder cases of depression and anxiety, this can help people concentrate and make better decisions.
Research has also shown that dancing can help those struggling with depression feel a bit less anxious. Similarly, those who have lower self-esteem usually feel much better about themselves after taking up dancing.
Improves your confidence
As mentioned, dancing and exercising, in general, can help one feel much better about themselves, and it’s not hard to see why. After all, exercising makes you look good, and when you look good, you also feel more confident about everything you do. Of course, there are still ways to feel confident regardless of your physical appearance, but no one can deny its importance in both professional and personal aspect of one’s life; how you look can often influence the way people react to you, which can influence your mental health.
Improves your memory and learning abilities
Both high-intensity and low-impact exercises can improve your learning capacity as well as your memory. Such exercises boost the levels of the proteins that are associated with the brain’s cognitive functions, which makes it easier for you to retain new information. Moreover, running a few times per week can also help you remember more easily, thanks to the production of the same proteins. So, if you feel like you’re becoming more forgetful, it might be a good time to introduce some light jogging into your lifestyle.
Needless to say, we should all exercise as much as we can in order to stay healthy. However, the benefits go beyond simply looking good. Running, dancing, doing sports, and any other form of exercising can greatly improve your mental health. So, considering all the listed benefits, pick your favourite physical activity, and start exercising today.
Thank you to Peter Minkoff for his guest blog
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