How Exercising Can Benefit Your Mental Health

 
Guest post written by Sydney Hahn

Exercise is a wonderful thing. It strengthens your muscles, reduces weight gain, and improves your energy. While a lot of people tend to focus on exercise to improve their physical health, it can have a hugely positive impact on your mental & emotional wellbeing. If there’s one thing yoga taught us millennials is that your body and mind are not disconnected. People who exercise regularly tend to have a sense of well-being, feel more energetic, and works as a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges. So, next time you think twice about going to the gym or on a jog, keep in mind that you’re not only doing it to stay physically healthy, but to keep your mind right, too. 

  • Sometimes if you’re in a bad state of mind, you tend to isolate yourself and get stuck in your own mind. Going to a gym, workout class, or even meeting up with a friend for a walk is a great way to stay connected with people. Oftentimes it’s much easier & more comfortable to keep up a conversation when you’re on the move and exercising.

  • Routinely exercising helps you develop better lifestyle habits. When you exercise regularly, discipline comes more naturally in other areas of your life. You tend to sleep much more soundly at night, choose to eat healthier foods (because eating too much greasy foods HURTS when you’re working out), and be able to focus better on your daily tasks throughout the day. 

  • Exercising consistently helps reduce depression because it promotes neural growth, releases endorphins, and reduces inflammation. Studies show that running for 15 minutes a day or walking at least an hour a day can reduce the risk of major depression by 26%

  • Exercise can also help with anxiety. The release of endorphins can help release stress & tension, and make you feel good about yourself. It can also be a great way to zone out and stop repetitive or overwhelming thoughts. Getting time to yourself and only focusing on one activity at a time can also help quiet your mind.

  • Have you ever heard of the phrase “you look good, you feel good?” Exercising can help build your self-confidence and make you start feeling good about yourself again. You start feeling strong and powerful, and your self-worth increases. 

You can gain a lot of these benefits even by exercising just 15 minutes a day. There’s no need to start too big. Especially if you’re already struggling with mental health, it can be difficult to stick with some goals. Just get out the door and move your body. What do you do to stay motivated? How does exercise help your mental health?

Share this with a friend if you know that exercise is good for you in more ways than one.

 
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