Exercise and Mental Health: What’s the Connection?

mental health

The equation for long-lasting and effective weight-loss is usually considered in terms of diet and exercise. We’re supposed to eat less and move more, right? Burning off excess calories through exercise will help drop the number on the scale, right? Well, there’s more to this “simple” equation than you may think.

Believe it or not, exercise has an important role in your overall health that goes beyond just weight-loss and calorie expenditure. Engaging in adequate physical activity also has a significant impact on your mental health, which in turn affects your specific goals for weight and health as well.

Your Mental Health on Exercise: A Boost in Productivity

Apart from building muscle, burning calories and achieving improved physical health, exercise is beneficial to your brain function in the following ways:

  • brainIt Protects against Cognitive Decline – As we age, we may start to experience “haziness” and loss of memory or the ability to perform certain mental tasks. Productive workouts that are performed consistently, on the other hand, can help boost the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for for processes such as memory and learning.
  • It Alleviates Anxiety and Stress – During exercise, the brain increases concentrations of helpful chemicals and releases endorphins. As a result, you’re more equipped to handle mental tension and prepare for the relaxation that your brain and body most definitely need.
  • It Inspires Creativity – With all of the clutter that sometimes tends to clog our brain, it can be hard to find any motivation or inspiration to complete other tasks or projects. Exercise has been known to help us clear our heads and empty our minds, which makes room for creativity to grow and prosper.
  • It Can Help You Feel Control – A good workout can make you feel like you have a sense of control over your life and your choices that are involved in your journey with weight and health.
  • It Improves Your Sleep – Adequate physical activity helps to rid your body of extra tension and energy from the day. You may find that this helps improve your quality of sleep, too, because you might fall asleep quicker or stay asleep longer. Your stress levels, as well as your body, have a lot to do with your sleep patterns! To learn more about the sleep-health connection, CLICK HERE.

So, put on some durable workout shoes and get moving — for your body AND your brain! Getting an adequate amount of exercise each week (about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity) can boost your health in a variety of physical/mental/emotional ways. Here’s to a healthy and happy workout!

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