How Fitness Helps Mental Health

One of the best things about working out is how you feel when you’re done. It’s an accomplishment, especially if you really didn’t feel like working out in the first place. It’s more than just that. Working out relieves the stress of the day and leaves you feeling more relaxed and at ease. While working out and getting fit changes how your body looks, fitness helps mental health, too.

You’ll burn off the hormones of stress.

When you’re under stress, your body undergoes a lot of changes. That’s because the brain sends out little messengers to make those changes and prepare it for running away or fighting. That fight or flight response slows blood flow to the digestive system and sends it to the limbs, increases heart rate, raises blood pressure and basically prepares the body for either outcome. Those changes, if not countered, can make long term changes in the body, including the brain. Burning off those hormones, helps stop those changes and brings positive changes to your mood and mental health.

When you exercise, you can help mental conditions like anxiety and depression.

There’s been a lot of studies done recently that show the benefits of using exercise as an adjunct therapy for depression and anxiety. Part of the reason is the burning off of stress hormones, but there’s also more. When you workout, the body creates hormones that make you feel good. In fact, even moderate exercise several times a week is beneficial and in some cases, have eliminated the need for medication.

You can boost your cognitive abilities with exercise.

Try working out if you want more brain power. Studies show it helps boost mental functioning. Some of those studies focused on mental decline in aging and dementia. It can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 50%, as stated by the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation. It helps keep old connections in the brain, while encouraging making new ones, strengthens the hippocampus, which boosts memory and stimulates the creation of new brain cells called neurogenesis.

  • You’ll sleep sounder when you workout. Lack of sleep causes a decrease in cognitive functioning. It helps you get the type of sleep that helps boost your mental functioning.
  • You’ll look and feel more confident when you workout, thanks to improved posture. That can help relieve the anxiety and depression that lack of confidence also brings.
  • Working out also helps increase your circulation by increasing your heart rate. That causes the body to create neurohormones that boost your mood and even improve your cognitive functioning.
  • People often come to 180° Fitness because they want to look better and feel better about themselves. They find more than that. Not only do the changes improve their self-esteem, they often make new friends in our group classes. Social interaction is good for mental health.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

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