5 mental health benefits of working out
Working out has been proven to provide a number of health benefits. From weight loss to improved strength and endurance – there is no shortage of physical benefits from regular exercise. But what about the mental health benefits? The link between working out and mental wellbeing is often overlooked in favour of more tangible results such as weight loss or increased fitness levels. Yet research shows that not only does exercise improve mood and reduce stress levels, but it can also help manage symptoms for those with depression and other related disorders. So how exactly does it work? In this blog post, we will explore 5 reasons why working out is good for your mind as well as your body.
1. Working out releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones, which can help relieve anxiety and depression
Endorphins are hormones that are released in response to pain, stress or pleasure. They work by blocking pain signals from the brain and can help improve moods. Research has shown that exercise is one of the best ways to release endorphins, which can help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
In addition to endorphins, working out also releases dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are all responsible for mood regulation, and can help improve overall wellbeing when released in healthy amounts.
So if you’re feeling down, a good workout could be just what the doctor ordered!
2. Exercise helps people sleep better by releasing melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that works by regulating the sleep-wake cycle in our bodies. It has been shown to help improve moods, reduce anxiety levels and boost energy levels when released at night-time (when it’s naturally produced). The problem for many people is they don’t produce enough melatonin, which can lead to problems such as insomnia or poor sleep quality.
Exercise has been shown to help increase melatonin production, which can in turn lead to improved sleep patterns. In fact, one study published in the journal Sleep Medicine showed that people who exercised regularly experienced an average of 75 minutes more sleep per night! So if you’re struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality, working out could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
3. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress levels
Stress puts a huge strain on the body, so much so that it can affect your mental health over time if left unchecked. This is because prolonged periods of stress cause cortisol levels to rise in our bodies- which has been shown to lead to increased anxiety and depression symptoms.
Regular physical activity helps reduce these levels by lowering stress hormones, which in turn reduces the risk of mental health disorders.
So if you’ve had a stressful day at work, or are feeling particularly anxious about something- go for a run! It could be just the thing to help you calm down and relax.
4. A regular workout routine can improve your mood and self-confidence
Working out is a great way to boost your mood and self-confidence. When you start seeing results from your hard work, it can make you feel good about yourself and increase your overall sense of wellbeing.
Not only this, but exercise has also been shown to improve body image. This is because when we work out, our bodies release endorphins to help reduce pain and improve moods. In turn, this can lead people to have a more positive body image – because they feel better mentally as well as physically!
So if you’re feeling down about your appearance or just need a bit of boost in the confidence department – try going for a run today. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.
5. It’s good for mental health to get outside of the house
Being cooped up indoors on a regular basis isn’t great for mental health. This is because we need to get fresh air and sunshine every day in order to release the right levels of vitamin D into our bodies – which can help improve moods.
Studies have shown that people who spend more time outside tend to be happier than those who spend more time indoors. This is because going outside allows us to get a dose of vitamin D, which can help regulate our moods and increase overall wellbeing.
So if you’re feeling down about something – go for a run or walk in the park! It could be just what you need to improve your mental health outlook, on top of all the physical benefits you’ll also get from it.
So there you have it – five great reasons why working out is good for your mental health! If you’re not currently active, try starting small with a light jog or walk a few times per week and work your way up from there. Or if you prefer group activities, why not try a dance class or Zumba? Working out doesn’t have to be boring – you can setup an exercise routine that will make you want to keep going! For more information on staying motivated to work out, you can refer to our 6 steps to successfully stick to exercising.
An if you’re new to exercising, then you may want to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. You can also have a health assessment to establish where you’re at now and then monitor your changes. Why not try a Health MOT to get started and find out more about your health today?