How exercise improves our mental health! 🏋️🧠
Haven't we all heard that exercise improves our well-being? 🧐
But let's be honest, do you ever find yourself putting off exercise "until tomorrow" or waiting until you really "feel like it"? And then a new day is just around the corner and motivation is nowhere to be found ...🙈
Why is that? There are many reasons for this. Maybe sport is something you're not used to, or you haven't found a way to integrate it into your daily routine. Maybe you're not a morning person, but evenings are also never the right time for you to spend an hour in the gym.
Whatever the case, it's time to tackle this problem or you'll miss out on the many health benefits that exercise can have.
Exercise can give you energy, boost your confidence and help you lead a healthier lifestyle. ⚡️🫐🥑
Moreover, a recent study found that healthy eating or exercise alone are not enough to prevent health problems later in life. Only in combination can you lead a healthier life and prevent disease. 💪🏼
In addition to the benefits mentioned so far, exercise also has an enormous impact on our mental health. It has been proven that exercise increases our concentration and attention, fights anxiety and acts as a natural cure for depression. 🧠
So let's take another look at the relationship between exercise and mental health.
The link between physical activity and mental health
The effects of exercise on mental health are a hotly debated topic in the scientific community. Researchers are convinced that regular exercise can improve mental and emotional well-being and reduce the risk of mental illness. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention), just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day can benefit your mental and physical health.
Here is an overview of the positive impact exercise can have on your mental health:
Improving emotion regulation
Reducing the risk of dementia
Reducing the risk of major depressive disorder
Coping with stress
How exactly does sport improve mental health?
There is a direct link between our body and mind. So it seems obvious that if you take care of one, you will also promote the other at the same time.
Here are the main factors of exercise that lead to improved mental health:
🍀 Happy hormones: Regular exercise causes the body to release chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins. These hormones are also known as "happiness hormones" because of their ability to induce joy
🧠 Stress reduction: Exercise not only produces happiness hormones, but also reduces stress hormone levels in the body at the same time. This means that less cortisol and adrenaline flow through the body, which reduces the risk of chronic stress and the associated long-term health risks. In addition, stress reduction provides improved sleep quality.
😴 Strengthening the biorhythm: Physical activity - especially when practised outdoors - has the power to be just as effective as a prescribed sleep aid. Exercising outdoors exposes you to natural light, which signals to your circadian rhythm when it's time to rest.
In addition, getting enough sleep is associated with other health benefits:
Strengthened immune system
Reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease
Lowered blood pressure
Better decision making
Increased attention and concentration
🏃🏾♂️ Mind-Body Connection: Whenever you move a muscle, sensory receptors send information about what is happening to your brain. So when you do physical exercises, your mind becomes more aware of your body's position in space, which leads to improved physical self-awareness. You begin to identify with your chosen sport. For example, if you are a long-distance runner, you are likely to perceive yourself as having endurance and resilience - qualities needed to train for a marathon or other physically demanding performance.
✅ Goal setting: A healthy fitness routine usually involves goal setting. Every time you reach a personal milestone or break a personal record, you motivate yourself to set your sights on the next goal. This feeling of accomplishment can have a positive impact on your mental health. People who set realistic goals generally tend to have higher levels of self-motivation, self-esteem, independence and self-confidence.
🙌🏼 Social support: If you participate in a sports class or exercise with a friend, the social aspect will further enhance the positive effects of exercise on mental health. This is because social interactions also release dopamine in our bodies, which helps us cope with stress, anxiety and depression.
In addition, social support can increase your motivation to complete your workout. For example, if you make a date to exercise with a friend or are a member of a sports team, you will feel more committed to not letting your friends or team down.
🧘🏾♀️ Release of tension: Physical activity often has similar effects to practicing mindfulness: It helps you let go and relax. In yoga, for example, you focus not only on your own breath, but on the feelings in your muscles and tendons. This kind of mindfulness of your body can help you recognise discomfort and reduce unwanted stress-related tension.
In conclusion, exercise and our mental health are closely related. One influences the other and even the smallest amount of physical activity can have a positive effect on our mood. 🌞
Everything from competitive sports to a daily walk can help boost our energy and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It's time to finally get started and not wait "for tomorrow"! 💪🏼
Let whylab guide you on your path and find support through your whylab group! No matter what your goal is, we will help you to stay motivated and responsible. 😌
Sign up now completely free for your first 30-minute group coaching session and experience whylab first hand. Click here to register. 💙