Most of us already know that when we exercise, we feel good. But did you know that there are scientifically proven ways that exercise benefits mental health? This means that getting active is good for your body and your mind.
What Are the Benefits of Exercise to Your Mental Health?
Researchers have found that exercise significantly improves mental health, including:
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Decreasing depression and/or negative moods
- Boosting self-esteem
- Improving cognitive function
Scientists have found that exercise is not only a positive practice for mentally “well” individuals but also for those dealing with mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and others.
What Impact Does Physical Activity Have on Well-Being?
When you think about the concept of “well-being,” what does it mean to you? According to information from the U.K Mental Health Foundation, well-being can encompass a variety of factors, such as:
- Feeling good about yourself
- Being able to function well as an individual and in relationships
- Successfully navigating the ups and downs of life
- Dealing with challenges
- Being able to feel connected to your surroundings and community
- Feeling that you have a sense of purpose
- Feeling valued
- Having a certain level of freedom in your life
Well-being doesn’t mean having a perfect life – none of us have that, and we all deal with challenging circumstances or difficult emotions at times. However, mental well-being translates into being able to handle these challenges and enjoy life in general.
There are many components to mental wellness, but your physical activity plays a huge part. Even taking 10 minutes for a brisk walk boosts energy, alertness, and a positive mood. Additionally, exercise can support better self-esteem, which makes sense when you consider that you’re making a decision that you know is good for your health and wellness.
Exercise Immediately Benefits Mental Health
People often wonder how much exercise they must do to start feeling better. We know that many Americans fall far below the threshold of recommended physical activity, but doing enough exercise to get the mental health benefits might not be as difficult as you think.
Studies show that 30 minutes of moderately-intense activity (such as brisk walking) three days a week can boost your mental health. This could be a solid 30 minutes of exercise, or you could break it up into three, 10-minute intervals if you prefer.
Oddly, you can find a spare hour and a half per week to improve your mental wellness, and you can bet that the results will be more than worth your time.
How Exercise Promotes Positive Well-Being
We’ve discussed that exercise and mental health are directly connected, but how does exercise impact our minds? It has been found to help prevent mental health struggles and improve the quality of life for individuals facing mental health problems, and here’s how.
Exercise Has a Positive Impact on Mood
Have you ever had a day when you were feeling down but noticed that your mood was much better after a quick yoga session or walking around the neighborhood? It wasn’t just a hunch; it was science. Researchers have found that physical activity boosts mood, especially when you start out feeling pretty low.
Exercise Helps Reduce Stress
There are many ways you can reduce the effects of stress. The side effects of stress range from sleeping problems and loss of appetite to severe mental health and emotional struggles, so finding a healthy way to deal with stress is necessary for us all.
Physical exercise is linked to lower stress rates, with active individuals experiencing less stress overall than those that are not active.
Exercise Increases Our Self-Esteem
You probably have already realized that you feel better when exercising, but have you ever thought about why that is? As it turns out, scientists have already conducted many studies about how exercise improves self-esteem.
Self-esteem is one of the significant indicators of mental wellness and can make or break our ability to manage life’s stressors. When people regularly exercise, researchers have found that their self-worth and self-esteem naturally increase.
Exercise Can Improve the Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
For individuals with depression or anxiety, physical activity can be a highly effective method for reducing negative symptoms. Researchers have found that it has impressive potential as an alternative standalone treatment option or in tandem with therapy and/or medication.
Keys to Mental Health through Exercise
Understanding that exercise is good for mental health can help motivate you to make it a regular habit. However, it can still be challenging to incorporate into your routine consistently – but these tips can help.
Change the way you think about exercise.
Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to think about exercise in less-than-healthy ways. For example, you might consider exercising a “punishment” for indulging in certain foods. Or, you might assume that exercise is only a tool for losing weight. Many people have ingrained thoughts that tend to hold them back from exercise, including assuming that exercise will be too difficult for them to do properly.
But once you reprogram your brain with more positive thoughts about exercise, it can make it much easier to get active. Remind yourself that exercise will help you feel happier and less stressed and support your physical health – and you don’t have to run a marathon to succeed.
Find ways to eliminate roadblocks to exercise.
What is standing in the way between you and regular exercise? Maybe it’s a struggle to fit exercise into your busy schedule, or perhaps you aren’t sure how to work exercise into your family or professional responsibilities. But if you look carefully, you might be able to overcome these obstacles after all.
If you’re a busy parent, consider making exercise a family affair. For example, go for a walk after dinner or explore a local hiking spot on the weekend. For busy professionals, blocking off a half-hour for exercise – like a “meeting” with yourself – can make it easier to get to.
Add electrolytes to your exercise routine.
Many people associate exercise with feeling completely drained, but those physical effects often indicate dehydration. Properly preparing and recovering from physical activity can make a massive difference in how you feel afterward. With an electrolyte-based beverage, for example, you can quickly replenish your body’s natural electrolytes and turn exercise into something enjoyable rather than exhausting.
Thinking About Adding Supplements to Your Exercise?
There’s no question that exercise has mental and emotional benefits, not to mention the myriad ways staying active supports physical wellness. But whether you’re new to the gym or a dedicated pro, making sure your body has everything essential to a successful workout – and Core Culture has you covered.
Core Culture creates premium health and wellness supplements formulated with the highest-quality ingredients, providing all-natural support that’s incredibly easy to enjoy. No matter what your goals may be – building muscle, increasing energy, or staying hydrated – we have the supplements to match.
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