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
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.