How Fitness Impacts Your Mental Health
When most people commit to a fitness routine, they do so to improve their physical health. Perhaps they need to lose weight or find a natural way to lower their blood pressure or blood glucose. And while exercise definitely impacts a person’s physical health, it also significantly impacts their mental health as well!
Here are just some of the ways fitness positively impacts your mental health:
Helps to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Have you heard that regular exercise is one of the best ways to beat the effects of stress? Physical activity is thought to reduce stress by reducing the levels of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. And studies have found exercise can even make us resilient to stress. Exercise increases the “feel good” chemicals in our bodies and brains thus decreasing anxiety.
Improves Self-Confidence and Decreases Depression
When we feel depressed, we don’t have the get-up-and-go to exercise. By not exercising, we feel sluggish, which can significantly decrease our confidence and self-worth. Committing to an exercise plan can help to rebuild our confidence. In fact, studies have found regular exercise can contribute to improved body image. Studies have also shown that exercise has more physiological benefits to women with depression than antidepressant medication.
Promotes a Better Night’s Sleep
We tend to overlook how important proper sleep is for our overall mental health and well-being. While a variety of factors can impact our quality of sleep, physical activity appears to be particularly influential. It seems exercise not only helps us fall asleep faster, but helps us stay asleep longer as well.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
And finally, exercise is also thought to boost our mental clarity and improve our memory. Those who have suffered from depression, anxiety or PTSD and CPTSD know that our cognitive function can take a hit when our mental health takes a hit.
These are just some of the ways regular exercise can improve your mental health. And of course, I also encourage you to speak to someone about the mental health challenges you are facing. Just as you often need a trainer to show you how to exercise properly, you may need a trainer to help you get into the best mental health of your life! Please reach out today and I’d love to talk about ways that I can help.