THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT: DOES EXERCISE IMPROVE MOOD?
The work hard play hard mentality of modern day society barely leaves us any time to maintain our mental health. Some people don't have enough time to make it to the gym, while others, simply hate working out and don't care to make time for it. Either way, there are so many easy ways to get your blood flowing by staying active, if you just make a little effort.
Over the years, studies showed that physical activity was essential to keeping us healthy, active and strong. By exercising or meditating on a regular basis, our bodies detox and replenish themselves to be stronger than ever.
Rather than relying on western medicine, you should always consider the natural elements that improve your health and mood, and regular exercise is proven to be one of them.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercise has an enormous impact on our moods, and scientists have proven that it can even be just as effective as some mild antidepressants. Various experiments have been done to show the positive correlation between exercise and mood in teens and younger and older adults. While we don’t understand which specific type of exercise affects which mood, we can acknowledge the positive overall effect on our brains and bodies.
The health benefits of exercise include:
Boosts Energy & Brainpower:
Whether you’re enrolled in college or just graduated, being a young adult requires lots of energy. Keeping up with your classes, job and other leisure activities requires brainpower.
Aerobic activities (swimming, cycling, running, rowing) deliver oxygen and nutrients to the brain and various other tissues throughout your body. More oxygen around the body helps you to concentrate better and think clearer. Exercise also helps your heart and lungs grow stronger which improves your overall energy levels.
Improves Mood to Reduce Mental Health Problems
How does exercise improve our mental health? Exercise exhausts certain chemicals in our brains that improve our mood to make us more comfortable and relaxed, rather than anxious and jittery. The brain releases “feel-good” chemicals and endorphins throughout the body during strength or endurance training.
Physical activity is also proven to increase confidence, heighten willpower and reduce mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Working out on a daily basis can ultimately pull you out of a negative headspace that feeds into anxiety and depression.
Prevents & Fights Illness
Have you ever noticed how well your body fights the cold or flu when you’re frequently exercising? It is proven that exercise helps fight off mild sicknesses like the common cold or flu. Regular physical activity prevents high blood pressure, increases bone density, reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes, some cancers, strokes and heart disease.
Exercise slows down the body’s blood pressure and heart rate. Working out also decreases the amount of stress hormones that your body releases to make you feel calmer more often.
Exercise improves the quality of your slumber by helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Your body feels torn down and worn out so when it is bedtime, it fully rests to replenish itself.
Refrain from exercising at least three hours before bed to avoid being too alert and energized. Exercise is a healthy, safe way to improve our mind, body and soul, naturally through sleep.
How Does Exercise Improve Mood?
There are various brain chemicals released during exercise which explain the positive links between exercise and mood. By releasing serotonin and contributing to the brain’s neuron growth, exercise fights chronic depression, regulates mood, sleep and appetite. Exercise reduces immune system chemicals that worsen depression and increases your endorphin levels naturally. It also allows your mind to focus on an activity to give you a sense of accomplishment by releasing dopamine throughout your body.
Exercise is truly a win-win for our mental, emotional and physical health. You should try to get thirty to sixty minutes of exercise each day to improve your body functions and promote stronger bones, organs and brain health.