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Wellness of Mind and Body through Exercise In the last decade, scientists have studied how exercise can enrich brain function. No matter the person’s age or fitness level, research shows that making time for exercise offers some important mental advantages. Below are six ways regular exercise can help cognition and your overall sense of well-being: Stress Reduction
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Among the best-known mental benefits of exercise is stress reduction. Sweating up can help alleviate physical and mental stress. As well, it ups your body’s concentrations of norepinephrine, a neurochemical that can tone downhow yourbrain responds to stress. So if you sometimes feel like you’re being overcome by mental tension, go out and get moving.
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Increased Production of Happy Hormones Running a few miles on the treadmill can be a pain, but it’s worth the hard work! As you’ve likely heard before, endorphins or happy hormones are released when you exercise. Based on research, exercise can even lighten the symptoms of those diagnosed with clinically depression. That’s the reason doctors advise gym time for anyone who has depression or anxiety as long as their physical condition allows. In certain cases, exercise can be equally effective as antidepressantpills. It’s okay if you’re not the gym rat type — getting a happy boost from working out for just half an hour a few times weekly can instantly boost your overall mood. Self-Confidence Boost Get on the treadmill and start looking and feeling like a million dollars. At the core, physical fitness can improve self-esteem and promote a positive self-image. Irrespective of your gender, age, size or weight, exercise can swiftly elevate your perception of your own self-worth. Loving the Great Outdoors Exercising in the great outdoors can boost your self-esteem even more. Do a bit of research and look for an outdoor workout that is compatible with your style, whether jogging in the park or canoeing or biking or what have you. All that Vitamin D you get from soaking up the sun (wearing that sunscreen, of course!) can stop those depressive symptoms on their tracks. Maintaining Cognitive Ability It’s not good news, but it’s true — aging makes our brains a little less sharp. Even as exercise and a healthy diet are no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, they can help combat cognitive decline, which generally starts after a person turns 45. In individuals with ages 25 to 45, exercise increases the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that stop the degeneration of the hippocampus, that part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Anxiety Alleviation Finally, just a little Q & A: which do you think is better when it comes to relieving anxiety — getting a warm bubble bath or jogging in the park? The answer might surprise you. The warm and fuzzy chemicals your body releases during and after exercise can help you calm down. Who says exercise is just good for physical health?