5 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

When it comes to working out, most of us are hitting the gym in the hope of getting stronger, feeling healthier or getting the body we've always wanted. It's easy to forget that exercise has a host of other benefits that go deeper than rock-hard abs. From improving our negative moods and boosting our energy, to helping combat anxiety and depression, exercise is an incredible tool to improve mental wellbeing. These 5 benefits of exercise are all about giving your mental health a boost, helping you to live a healthier, happier life! 

 

Reduces Stress

Stress

When life gets hectic and your stress levels are running high, it’s easy to push exercise down the priority list. Yet whether you choose to pound down the pavements or punch a boxing bag, scheduling time to sweat into your week can do wonders for managing your stress. Even just a brisk power-walk at lunchtime will give your head the refresh it needs and get you back to your desk with a new found sense of calm.

 

Releases Endorphins 

Basketball Player

Whether you’re just having a bad week or you suffer from depression or anxiety, getting some endorphins could be the helping hand you need. These happy chemicals released when you exercise have been shown to help boost your mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. It’s time to lace up your trainers and chase that runner’s high!

 

Boosts Self-Esteem

Runners

Have you ever smashed out a workout at the gym and suddenly felt those annoying body hang ups slide away? You might look the same after your workout, but your sense of self-worth is completely different. Regardless of your weight, gender or age, physical activity is the quickest trick for elevating your self-worth and squeezing in a quick training session will soon have you feeling ready to take on the world!

 

Prevents Cognitive Decline

Stretching Runner

When it comes to getting older, we are well aware of the changes that happen to our physical health, but what about the mental changes? Regular exercise is known to be great at reducing the likelihood of experiencing cognitive decline as you get older, and has been identified as a protective factor against dementia. Get your workouts in now to keep yourself feeling sharp as a tack in a few years time! 

 

Promotes Good Sleep

Bed

I think we can all agree that there is no better feeling than a good night’s sleep! Not only is exercise great at tiring you out and clearing your head after a busy day, but heading to the gym after a busy day at work will also raise your body temperature. This will mean it starts to fall just before you go to sleep, helping to ease you into a peaceful slumber. Whether your circadian rhythm is all out of whack or your stress levels are keeping you up late, exercise can help to reboot your body clock to make sure you get in those forty winks.