You’ve heard that physical activity is good for your body, but did you know that exercise positively impacts your mental health and wellbeing? It works two ways: improving your mental health by helping you make time for yourself, as well as reducing the symptoms of a mental illness by improving mood and controlling anxiety.
Wellbeing is defined as a positive physical, social and mental state. The sense of feeling good about ourselves and being able to function well daily means to have the ability to deal with the ups and downs of life.
Exercise and the Mind
Exercise is a great way to maintain your physical health and well-being. If you exercise regularly, you may also experience improved mental health too. A short burst of ten minutes of brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood.
Regular exercise can reduce stress, anxiety and depression and make you feel better about yourself. It also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems.
Physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on our mood. People feel more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active compared to periods of inactivity.
Physical exercise can be very effective in relieving stress. When it comes to one’s mental health, the most common physical signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating and loss of appetite. Such symptoms are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in our body.
Even short bursts of exercise in the morning or afternoon can help regulate your sleep patterns. If you prefer to exercise at night, relaxing exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching can help promote sleep.
Physical activity has proven to have a positive effect on our self-esteem. By practising mindfulness while doing exercise, you’ll be able to reduce your stress levels and improve your self-esteem.
Exercise and Depression
Exercise releases endorphins, energising chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. It also promotes neural growth and reduces inflammation — both of which promote feelings of well-being. Thirdly, exercise can serve as a distraction from negative thoughts that fuel depression.
Furthermore, physical activity increases the release of endorphins — the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication — but without the side-effects.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mental wellbeing. By building resilience, it can help you cope with life’s challenges in a healthy way instead of resorting to negative behaviours that make symptoms worse such as drugs, alcohol and substances. Regular exercise can also help boost your immune system and reduce the impact of stress.
If you want to improve your mental health and self-worth, head over to our gym at Cynergi Health & Fitness Club in St. Julian’s to check out our wide range of classes and personal training sessions! Exercise helps us to stay fit and healthy, and it can have a positive effect on our mental health and wellbeing.