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7 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Mental Health

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Are you feeling extra stressed lately? Well, you’re certainly not alone! With everything going on in the world right now, many of us are feeling more anxious and stressed out due to loss of work,  schedule disruptions, fear, you name it!

Stress can greatly impact our health and well being, so it’s important to learn how to manage it, especially during the most stressful of times. One proven way to manage stress levels is to exercise. We all know exercise has many health benefits like muscle growth and fat loss, but did you know exercise can help improve mental health too?

If you’ve ever gone for a jog after a stressful day, chances are you’ve noticed an improvement in your mood. Your mood is greatly effected by exercise. In fact, usually within 5 minutes after moderate exercise, many experience a mood-enhancement effect.

Exercise stimulates the production of mood-regulating brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. These brain chemicals are called dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline. When the production of these chemicals is increased, you’re likely to experience a positive effect on your mood and it may even help to reduce or prevent symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

Whether you’re just getting started on your fitness journey or an experienced weightlifter, exercise can help you experience the following mental health benefits:

  • Reduced Stress – Exercise can help with both physical and mental stress. Our body’s response to stress is moderated by noradrenaline. When you exercise, you increase the noradrenaline in your body. As a result, you’re better prepared to reduce stress and handle tension!
  • Alleviate depression symptoms – Your body produces chemicals called endorphins that provide feelings of happiness and euphoria. It’s been proven that exercise has a positive effect on your body’s production of endorphins!
  • Helps reduce anxiety sensitivity – The constant changes in our lives right now can cause many of us to feel a lot of anxiety. Going for a run or doing some interval training can help reduce your anxiety symptoms!
  • Improve memory and learning – Exercise helps boost chemicals in the brain that prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Cardiovascular exercises can actually help create new brain cells and improve overall brain performance.
  • Improve self-confidence – If you’re exercising, you’re consciously putting effort into looking and feeling better. Hello self confidence booster!
  • Get better sleep – Stress and anxiety can really effect how we fall and stay asleep. Luckily, exercise can help you get better sleep especially in the long-term.
  • Control addiction – Many harmful substances help produce dopamine and some people can become addicted to that rush of dopamine. Because exercise also stimulates dopamine production, this can be a healthier alternative to medications and other substances.

Are you looking to enhance your mood and better manage your stress through exercise? We’re here to help! If you’re nervous about returning to the gym, reach out to us. We’d love to share the ways in which we’re making the fitness center a healthier environment for employees and members alike!

Devon Andrews

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