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5 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Sporty & Rich Wellness

By: @coreflexpilates

Many of us know about the physical benefits of exercise, but what about the psychological benefits of exercise? Exercise can help ease anxiety and depression, improve your sleep and keep your memory in check. Here are five benefits your mental health will get from regular exercise.

Better Sleep - Exercise can help regulate our circadian rhythm which is our body's internal clock that regulates when we feel tired and when we feel alert. Beware though while exercising improves sleep quality, experts don't suggest any vigorous exercise too close to bedtime. Physical exercise also helps regulate body temperature which means you’ll sleep better throughout the night.

Brain Boost - Studies on mice and humans have shown that cardiovascular exercise specifically can create new brain cells (neurogenesis) which improves overall brain performance. Studies also show that physical activity can increase creativity and mental energy, so if you're in need of some inspiration your next big idea could be a jog or workout away.

Improved Self Esteem - Lifting weight and cardiovascular activity combined can drastically change your body's appearance and while exercise has so many benefits, looking better is often a major motivator for working out. The physical effects of exercise can lead to improved confidence and general wellbeing.

Lowering Stress - Exercise has been shown time and time again to decrease stress levels, which we could all use. By increasing your heart rate through exercise you reverse the stress-induced brain damage by stimulating the release of neurohormones like norepinephrine which will improve your clarity of thinking and performance during stressful situations. Basically allowing your body to handle stressful situations better.

Help Depression and Anxiety - Physical activity amps up endorphin levels which are the body’s “feel good” hormones which produce feelings of happiness and euphoria as well as giving us a general sense of wellbeing. These levels stay elevated long after you exercise and will give you a better outlook and perspective on things throughout the day.

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