It’s no secret that physical health and mental health are closely intertwined, but the relationship might not be as obvious as it seems. Exercise benefits your body, but it also has benefits for your mind—so much so that the two should go hand in hand if you’re looking to truly improve your well-being overall. Here are five benefits of incorporating fitness into your mental health routine.
1) Burn Off Extra Energy
The first way fitness helps mental health is through exercise. Regular physical activity can help you fight anxiety and depression by releasing endorphins and preventing stress-related weight gain. So get moving! Start with a simple goal, like walking for 10 minutes a day or going for a run every morning. As you stick to your goals, add time and intensity. Before long, you’ll have found an effective part of your mental health routine.
Another way fitness can help mental health is through variety. If you get bored easily, seek out classes or sports that offer something new and exciting. For example, if you’re used to jogging outside, try a spin class at your local gym to mix things up. Having new things to look forward to can make it easier for you to stick with a mental health routine without getting burned out.
2) Relax and Reduce Stress
Exercise can help you to relax and destress because it makes your body release endorphins, which are chemicals that produce feelings of happiness. When you have a tough day at work or feel down about something else in your life, try going for a run or doing another type of exercise that makes you feel good. You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel afterward! Exercise is also a great distraction from whatever is making you unhappy because it gives your mind something to focus on other than what’s bothering you. Make sure to make time for workouts that will relieve stress every day; these exercises will make it easier for you to cope with bad moods later on.
3) Give Yourself a Mood Boost
When our bodies are physically active, we release endorphins. Endorphins are mood-boosting chemicals that increase our sense of well-being. Whether you need a dose of positivity after a day spent at work or want to relax in preparation for it, exercise can help you feel more upbeat and energetic than before—especially when coupled with other activities known to contribute to improved mental health, like deep breathing and meditation. Aim for two 30-minute workouts each week—full of heart-pumping exertion—and note how much better you feel in no time.
4) Do Something You Enjoy
You probably know that aerobic exercise is good for you, and in general there's a reason that people tend to do things they enjoy. But working out regularly can help improve your mental health in a more specific way: research shows that people who exercise are less likely to experience mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress than their sedentary peers. Exercise helps our minds stay healthy by releasing feel-good hormones—including endorphins and serotonin—that elevate our moods and improve cognitive functioning. We all need to kick back sometimes; just make sure you're doing it while running or biking instead of lying on your couch.
5) Combat Depression
Exercise can boost mood, combat depression and lead to greater overall happiness. It’s good for your brain as well—exercise has been shown to increase levels of certain chemicals in your brain that are linked to feeling happier. Finally, research shows that exercise can help you sleep better at night, which is essential for overall mental health and well-being. Regular exercise also makes it easier to stick with a healthy diet, which helps stabilize blood sugar and keeps you mentally sharp.
It’s possible to work on mental health and fitness simultaneously. We aren’t all at exactly ground zero when it comes to either, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek progress. There are five benefits in incorporating both into your life. Start today with your Flybird adjustable weight benches, Flybird adjustable dumbbells and more from Flybird Fitness!