The Effects of Exercise on Mental Health

The Effects of Exercise on Mental Health

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, the last thing on your mind is

working out. But while it’s no magic pill, daily exercise has significant benefits on

the effects of your state of mind. You may be thinking, “That sounds nice, but I

have absolutely no motivation.” But what if I told you that the first step to getting

motivated is taking action? I guarantee, once you get up, get moving and start

feeling better, you won’t want to quit.

As Elle Woods would say

“Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make

you happy. And happy people just don’t kill their husbands.”

It’s a fact that when you exercise, your body temperature rises, you begin to sweat, and your brain

starts firing off neurotransmitters and feel-good chemicals like Serotonin. This is

why it is so important to purposefully exercise your body, in order to increase the

production of chemical reactions. Exercising daily can lower your resting heart rate

over time, which not only has an important impact on your health, but lowers your

stress and may positively impact your sleep.

If you’re anxious, you have an increased stress response to an increased

heart rate and heavy perspiration. Your mind spends most of the time digging up

your past, and preoccupying your thoughts with the future. You are therefore

distracted, in fear and not living in the present moment. When you’re following a

workout plan, you are creating a new hobby to think about that links you to the

present moment.

Exercising often gets your mind accustomed to the physical

reactions of sweating and increased heart rate, retraining your brain to recognize

these responses as safe rather than threatening.

If your mental health is suffering, starting a workout routine will increase

your sense of accomplishment. Making it a routine to go to the gym, try yoga, run

outside with a friend, or even getting a workout done in the comfort of your own

home, will increase your productivity levels and give you a sense of purpose. You

do not have to exercise for the sole purpose of looking good! Do it to take care of

yourself not only physically but mentally as well.