Exercise Your Mind
The benefits of exercise to improve your mood and mental health are greater than most people realize. The physical outcomes of exercise are well known. In addition, the mental health outcomes of exercise are proven to increase your mood and help with anxiety and depression. Here are some of the ways exercise is beneficial to your mind.
Lift Your Mood
Five minutes of moderate exercise has an almost instantaneous mood enhancement effect. Stress can often be relieved by going for a short run after a long stressful day. The benefits of exercise are not just short-term, they can also have long lasting effects. There is plenty of research that proves that daily exercise can help ease the effects of long-term depression. Those who adopt a regular exercise routine have higher rates of remission from depression than those who do not exercise.
Depression is a significant problem for adults who have diabetes. Rates of depressive symptoms are significantly higher for diabetics than those in the general population. Depression is more difficult to treat for diabetics and they have higher rates of relapse. However, this can go both ways. People with depression are also more likely to develop diabetes. Since diabetes is linked with obesity as well, exercise is the recommended treatment for both conditions. Diabetics who exercise have shown improvements in both depression and in blood sugar levels.
Run Out of Anxiety
Exercise has also been researched as a tool for treating anxiety. When a person is frightened, the nervous system switches into high gear, setting off a chain of events that include racing heart, sweating and dizziness. Adults with extreme sensitivity to anxiety are likely to respond to these symptoms with increased fear and are more likely to develop panic disorder. Regular workout routines can therefore be a useful tool in combatting anxiety. Exercise can cause the same physical reactions as anxiety, such as perspiration and increased heart rate, so it helps to associate these symptoms with exercise and safety, rather than with panic and fear.
Exercise can help the brain release mood altering biochemicals. The brain’s production of serotonin during exercise helps alleviate chronic depression. There are also theories that exercise can help normalize sleep which has positive effects on the brain.
Psychologically, exercise can improve a person’s outlook on life through the increase of thoughtful activity and a sense of accomplishment. Regular workouts help moderate the body’s response to stress and help strengthen the brain to combat stress. Exercise has so many benefits that can alleviate multiple symptoms andhave positive effects in the long run.
Many adults find it hard to start an exercise routine and stick with it. When a person pushes their physical limitations, they can become breathless to the point where it is difficult to talk. This can lead to constant postponement of exercise and can eventually turn people off. It is recommended that beginners start off slowly and begin with a moderate exercise plan.
There is a strong emphasis on the physical effects of exercise; patients are told to exercise to lose weight, lower cholesterol or to alleviate diabetes. Since it takes months for the physical results of exercise to become apparent, the expectation of near instant physical results from a workout is unrealistic and often leads to failure. The mood improvement during exercise, however, is an instantaneous gratification.
So improve your mood, your body and your spirit: Start Exercising!