The majority of people exercise to lose weight, improve their cardiovascular health, gain muscle and of course, to sculpt an amazing body. However, exercising has been found to have lots of benefits for your brain and mind. In the last decade, scientists have been wondering about how exactly exercise affects brain function. It was found that despite your age or current fitness level, studies showed that when you exercise, you get lots of mental benefits. We will now take a closer look at some of these benefits which will undoubtedly encourage you to start working out asap.
Regular exercise helps to reduce stress. If you have a hectic work schedule or other sources of stress in your life, then you should think about going for a walk or heading to your local gym for some exercise. When you exercise regularly, you will relieve a lot of stress and it can help you to manage both mental and physical stress. It also increases the amount of norepinephrine in your body, which is a chemical that helps your body to deal with stress.
Increases the amount of “happy” chemicals in your body. We all know that using the treadmill or going through an intense 45 minute kickboxing class is tough, but it’s more than worth the effort. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which makes you feel happier and even euphoric. There are many studies which have shown that regular exercise helps those who suffer with depression and even anxiety. So, if you’re feeling down, a trip to the gym might be just what you need! In a few cases, working out can be just as effective as if you took antidepressants or other pills to treat depression. Even if you’re not exactly a gym rat, then you can work out at your own pace wherever you want to boost your mood.
Boost your self confidence. When you workout regularly, you will not only look better but feel significantly better about yourself. Physical fitness has been found to have a significant impact on self image and overall self esteem. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, your age, gender or size; by exercising regularly, you will feel better about yourself and feel more attractive. It will increase your levels of self love and we all need more of that in our lives!
Experience the outdoors. If you want to feel even better about yourself, you should take your workouts, outside. It has been found that working out in the outdoors has a greater effect on improving self confidence. So, be sure to find the right outdoor workout that suits your style, personality and fitness level. Some great ideas include hiking, jogging, rock climbing, kayaking or even just jogging around your local park. Be sure to wear enough sun screen and the vitamin D from sun exposure will also help to reduce any depressive symptoms you may have. Exercise is also known to be a great help for those with issues such as ADHD.
Reduce and even prevent cognitive decline. As we all age, our brains become hazier and cognitive decline happens. This occurs at an even faster rate if you have a degenerative disease such as Alzheimers. However, by exercising regularly, you can help to slow and reduce that decline, which typically occurs after age 45. When you exercise, it will help to boost chemicals in your brain which help to prevent decline particularly in your hippocampus which is responsible for learning and memory.