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If you’ve ever wondered if physical activity can help with mental health issues, you are not alone. Consequently, many studies today boast about the mental health benefits of exercise. Physical exercise can also play an important role in mental well-being and can even relieve symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
What Are The Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise?
So how can physical activity help your mental health exactly? There is a simple explanation of how you can see positive psychological benefits of physical activity when you include it in your routine.
Regular exercise can help combat mental health issues and minimize the effects of depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, and PTSD. Although the physical movement is not a cure-all for anyone dealing with mental health problems, incorporating a physical activity routine can decrease the adverse effects.
Some of the potential mental health effects of exercise include:
Exercise And Depression
Depression is a common mental illness in individuals of all ages, unfortunately. Often people who are depressed do not interact with others and do not spend time improving themselves. Exercise helps to change that.
Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication but without the side effects.
Physical movement can release endorphins that are feel-good chemicals your brain makes when the body is under stress or in pain. So even a light 15-minute walk each morning can help boost your mood for the entire day and your physical health.
Exercise And Anxiety
Individuals who suffer from anxiety can see many mental benefits of physical activity. One popular method of tackling anxiety disorders is to use mindfulness.
Exercise that includes being mindful, like yoga, meditation, or other low-stress activities, can bring more self-awareness to your body. Research shows that exercising also helps promote the growth of new neurons in key areas of the brain, including the hippocampus.
Exercise And Stress
Unfortunately, stress is everywhere you go and will continue to be a part of life. How you deal with it can make all the difference. Physical fitness is a terrific way to help release the tension you hold in your muscles and improve your blood circulation. Effective exercise when combatting stress will lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of a heart attack.
Exercise And ADHD
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, can affect many people of all ages and walks of life. This neurological disorder alters how you react to situations, focus, and sit still for long periods.
Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels, all of which affect focus and attention.
If you deal with symptoms of ADHD, you can use regular exercise to help expel extra energy so your body will relax and be more receptive to sitting and listening, or working.
Exercise And PTSD And Trauma
If you have PTSD, following an exercise routine can help you feel ‘unstuck’ in negative emotions and feelings. You will become more aware of your physical limitations and help your brain break free of negative thought patterns.
Physical activity may also help PTSD symptoms like depression, sleeping problems, and cardiovascular problems.
Other Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise
While exercise is good for your muscles and joints, it is also good for your brain. After exercising, many people will see immediate results, including more energy, euphoric feelings, better self-awareness, and increased focus. Increasing your heart rate several times a week with an exercise program will give you more get-up-and-go, causing to increase in your energy levels. Some types of exercise include aerobic exercise, brisk walking, and other physical exercises.
You may sleep better, have a better appetite, or be able to make better life choices when you feel good about your body and health with regular physical activity. A rise in self-esteem and self-confidence are just a couple of benefits many people find after following an exercise routine to help their mental disorders, improving their quality of life.
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