Research shows that exercise has amazing psychological benefits which help to maintain and enhance good mental health. Regular exercise can alleviate stress, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues.
Exercise releases important hormones – endorphins and serotonin – which are the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain that produce feelings of happiness and euphoria. They also help to improve mood, reduce feelings of depression, and decrease stress. These hormones promote positive changes in the brain and create new activity patterns that help generate feelings of calmness and well being.
Sleep + Energy
Exercise improves your ability to relax and enhances sleep quality. Studies have shown that regular exercise reduces feelings of fatigue in both healthy individuals and people suffering chronic illness.
Vigorous activity that raises your heart rate actually decreases stress by stimulating the production of norepinephrine, a hormone that helps to improve mood, cognition and thinking. Exercise also forces the body’s nervous systems to communicate better, improving the ability to respond to stressful situations.
Boosts Brain Function
Regular exercise has been shown to create new brain cells which helps to boost overall brain function and performance. It also strengthens the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning) which prevents cognitive decline and memory loss.
Exercise gets you out into the world and in touch with other people. This reduces social isolation and feelings of loneliness, and also provides opportunity for new experiences. Improved self-esteem and better resilience are just two examples of the positive impact of socialisation through exercise can create.
Our bodies and minds are so closely linked – if your body feels better, than your mind will too!