We all know exercise is important and we should do something active everyday to keep our bodies healthy. But did you know that exercise can boost your mental health too? By taking time to exercise, not only will your body benefit, but you will notice improvement in your mental health, cognitive function, and self-esteem as well.
As you explore which exercise regiments best fit your lifestyle, here are 4 mental health benefits to know about:
Reduce depression symptoms. Exercise releases endorphins into your brain, triggering positive feelings. Some studies have reported that regular exercise works as well as medication. In a follow up study, evidence showed that the effects from exercise lasted longer than those of antidepressants.
Prevent cognitive decline. In some studies, researchers found that people who were physically active at least twice a week had a lower risk of dementia (and Alzheimer’s) compared to those who were less active.
Energy boost. Another perk from exercise is it gives your energy a boost. A study conducted by the University of Georgia saw a 20 percent increase in energy levels in those who exercised on a high to medium level.
Improved sleep. It probably doesn’t surprise you to hear this, but exercise can help your sleep quality. Studies have shown that those who get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week have better sleep and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. The study also found that those who live a more active life were 68% less likely to have leg cramps while sleeping.
There are many things you can do to stay active; swimming, weightlifting, and aerobics are a few excellent ways to improve your health. The important thing is to do something, every day, to get your heart pumping and your body moving.
Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.