Exercising gives us a lot of benefits for our physical well-being. But there is more that comes from it. It is commonly known that exercise is our primary way to achieve physical fitness and reduce the risks of serious diseases such as heart and lung diseases, and diabetes, and it also reduces the risks of complications from obesity. But more advantages come from exercising, and those are the benefits of mental health. Exercise is not only good for keeping our bodies fit, but it is also good for our mental health. Even our mental health benefits from exercise, particularly in these times of pandemic, when many of us are becoming vulnerable in terms of our mental health. So it’s important to keep our legs kicking, build our arms, and get our hearts pumping. Getting some vigorous physical activity helps us maintain good cognitive and emotional function. A simple walk of at least 15 to 30 minutes can have an effect on symptoms of depression and anxiety, allowing us to better manage our feelings as a result of these ailments. But how does exercise work on our mental health anyway? And how does it help? When we do a lot of walking, running, crunches, stretching, etc. Our brain releases chemicals or hormones as a response when we do vigorous physical activities. These hormones improve the mood that makes us have pleasant sensations.
It’s been proven by a lot of studies that exercise reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety. During exercise, our brain and spinal cord increase the levels of a chemical called endorphins that give us that “feel-good” feeling. That is why we feel a bit euphoric and relaxed and our feelings of being anxious and depressed are regulated if we do exercise. Exercise can decrease stress levels. One of the tensions that make us feel mentally vulnerable is stress, especially for those who have piled up schoolwork or deadlines coming close for a piece of work, and more situations where stress feelings are more likely. But consider taking a break and doing a few push-ups or jumping jacks that get your heart pumping. Increased heart activity can relieve stress and produce neurohormones such as norepinephrine. This neurohormone could get your cognition back into shape and improve your thinking, especially if it’s clouded by hectic situations. By all means, exercise could improve our response to stress, which somehow makes us happier, especially if the pile-up of work is done.
It also helps with sleep problems. Having a good night’s sleep is one of the crucial things we need if we want to have a good mental state. If you’re having trouble sleeping, doing physical activities during the day can help you sleep better at night. Because exercise expends all of the extra energy from the food you consume. Exercise also regulates our body clock, or what experts refer to as the circadian rhythm, which signals our brain whether to stay alert or must be asleep. But a reminder that exercise is not the direct alternative to medications, especially for mental health problems, Better still, consult a specialist if you detect any problems. But exercising is still highly encouraged because of the benefits it gives that lead us to physical and mental fitness.