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Exercise and Mental Health: Are they really related?Admin 28-10-2020
Do you exercise regularly to maintain body health? Did you know exercising is benefitting you in more than physical aspects? Read along to know more.
Everyone is aware of the physical benefits that exercising provides us. It keeps us fit, keeps our internal organs healthy and working in perfect shape. Not just that, studies show that exercising also has a positive effect on our skin and beauty. It helps the skin to stay healthy and look younger. However, its benefit doesn’t end here. Apart from health and beauty, exercising also helps you to stay happy. How you may ask. To answer, there is a very strong connection between exercising and mental health.
How Exercise Affects Mental Health?
Exercising regularly is a smart way to stay healthy. It not only keeps you fit but also reduces your hospital bills and increases your quality of life. Many studies suggest exercising has a positive effect on our mental health. Physical activities have been deemed to be stress busters. They help us to increase our physical as well as mental strength. But have you thought about how exactly does staying fit benefit our mental health?
Here is how exercising helps us to maintain our mental health and stay happy and mentally fit.
Whether you are a working adult or a studying teenager, stress is an inescapable part of everyone’s life. We cannot free ourselves from stressing about things and events that occur in our lives. Whether it is stressing for exam, promotion, or family, we are bound to be stressed at many points during our lifetime.
The problem occurs when the normal amount of stress is multiplied by many folds so much so that it starts affecting our daily life. Now, we may not be able to get completely stress-free but we can definitely reduce and manage the stress we are currently handling.
We can do so with regular exercise. A survey study carried out by the Anxiety and DepressionAssociation of America (ADAA) shows that when you exercise to make your body physically fit, it gives your brain a signal. This signal makes the brain believe that if your body is fit then your mind must also be fit.
Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorders among many. The number of people suffering from an anxiety disorder in its different forms such as GAD, OCD, and PTSD is quite high. Studies suggest that people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder are mainly afraid of the physical symptoms of anxiety such as increased heart rate and sweating.
When these symptoms are associated with physical activity such as exercising or aerobics, the person suffering can become more tolerable to them. This can lead to a reduction of anxiety over a span of time.
Depression and anxiety often come hand-in-hand. Many people who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety. In a country like India with one of the highest population rates, the number of people suffering from depression is also very high.
A study on exercise and mental health suggests that by engaging yourself in physical activity, we are providing our brain with a distraction by focusing on exercise, social interaction, and self-efficacy.
Furthermore, exercising is proven to release endorphins in our brains. Endorphins are hormones that reduce pain and allow us to relax. So when we exercise, endorphins in our brain help to relieve the symptoms of clinical depression temporarily.
Helps with Insomnia
Insomnia is a condition wherein the patient is unable to sleep or sleep well. Often, insomnia occurs due to excess stress, whether it is work-related, family-related, or personal. As mentioned earlier, the endorphins released due to exercising helps our mind to relax so that we can sleep more soundly. Studies have suggested that people who engaged in rigorous physical exercises were able to sleep more deeply than those who did not.
Sleep also has a direct effect on our physical activity. Getting enough sleep is shown to have a positive effect on being able to stay physically fit. So in a way, sleep and exercising have a bidirectional relationship.
There are many gyms and fitness centers that provide help with milder mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Gyms that offer Yoga and meditation services especially focus on keeping our minds relaxed and concentrated on happiness and mental well-being. Want to find a fitness center around you that focuses on all these aspects? Head over to VFitnessClub and simply click on Yoga to find all Yoga centers near you. You can choose your favorite based on the amenities they provide or just select the one with the highest user ratings. It is that easy!
Apart from this, exercising daily can also be very helpful in enhancing the cognitive functions of our brain. This is very helpful for older adults and patients with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It increases alertness and improves memory.
When we discuss so many things, we ought to wonder if exercise affects us only positively. Does it have no negative side effects?
Studies show that it may have some negative effects however, they are extremely rare. The addiction to exercising is thought to be a negative psychological effect among athletes and people suffering from Anorexia Nervosa. However, in the latter case, it is yet to be proven if the disorder causes excessive running or excess running causes the disorder.
We must conclude this discussion by agreeing to the fact that exercising has more benefits than harms that are yet to have a solid proof. Staying physically active will definitely improve our mental health. Here, it is important to remember that if we are suffering from any mental health condition then exercising must be done along with proper medical treatment. We must not rely completely on physical activities and exercise to improve our condition.
However, when we have the proper treatment along with a sufficient amount of daily exercise, we can be sure to improve our health faster. So find a place to exercise and stay fit every day.
How do you feel after a session of exercising? Is it helpful for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. To read more interesting topics on health and fitness, check out our other blogs.