There’s a lot of study about the effects of exercise on mental health and brain related illnesses. Most studies show that you can protect your memory and improve your mental health with fitness. Working out has recently been added to many protocols for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and showed improvement or a slower progression of the disease. Therapists are finding that exercise and healthy eating play a dramatic role in improving the recovery from depression and anxiety.
You may have experienced it yourself.
If you’ve come into the gym, dragged out and in a such a bad mood, even puppies aren’t cute, but left feeling chipper and great again, you’ve experienced the effect that exercise has on your mindset. Exercise can burn off those hormones of stress that can affect your mood and replaces them with ones that make you feel good. Not only do the workouts boost endorphins, which you’ve probably heard about being responsible for the “runner’s high,” It also produces dopamine while you’re working out and as that lowers after the workout, serotonin. Serotonin, is responsible for many things, like the sleep wake cycle, but it also gives you a sense of satisfaction.
Exercise may be critical for those with depression.
Not only does exercise help reduce the risk of depression, it also keeps you more alert as you age. Studies have shown that it’s effective in treating many conditions and even helps with certain issues in schizophrenia. It affects areas of the brain and increases the blood supply, boosting the delivery of oxygen and nutrition. It may create new neurons in the hippo campus, an area of the brain that helps memory, learning and regulates emotion. It also improves the neuron signaling, connections and growth by increasing neurohormones and neurotrophic factors.
Exercise can boost your self-image.
Studies show that just starting a program of exercise can improve people’s self-image. Just imagine how much good it does when the results appear. If you’re feeling frumpy, fat, unfit or other type of emotion that indicates you’re not perfect physically (Who doesn’t from time to time?), working out can help and the results will add to your self-esteem. You’ll even walk taller because of improved posture and that can make you feel good too.
- The boost in serotonin from exercise helps you sleep better. The better you sleep, the better your mood normally is.
- While you’re working out, you’ll normally be focusing on the exercise, rather than the problems of the day. That alone can help give you mind a break from negative thinking and make you feel good.
- You’ll get a boost of energy after you exercise for a while. That extra energy can make you feel good emotionally, too.
- Many people hold their problems in, causing skeletal tension. Exercise helps you release that tightness and gives you a more relaxed feeling.