In recent times, there have been several talks about mental health and how it affects individuals in society. Amongst individuals, Gen Zs have especially shown heightened levels of stress, depression, and anxiety which is a detriment to their mental health. And as long as situations can trigger or jeopardise your mental health, there will be a need for conversations on what should be done or what is being done about it.
However, let us not talk about everything that makes mental health worst but rather about things that can be done to relieve it. Exercise is known to have excellent benefits on our mental health.
The benefits of exercise extend to mental and physical health. It is not disputed that people work out to keep fit. However, most people who exercise frequently do so because it makes them feel good. Exercise improves sleep and makes them feel more relaxed and optimistic about themselves and their lives. This is why it is an excellent recommendation to improve one’s mental health.
Here are five benefits of exercise on mental health;
Exercise is a safe and efficient natural anxiety treatment. The release of endorphins reduces anxiety and stress, increases mental and physical vitality, and improves well-being. Any activity that keeps your body moving might be helpful, but paying attention instead of drifting off can have a more significant positive impact.
Have you ever paid attention to how your body reacts to stress?
Your stiff muscles, particularly those in your face, neck, and shoulders, could cause back discomfort, neck pain, muscle cramps or excruciating headaches. You can also encounter sleeplessness, heartburn, stomach aches, diarrhoea, and frequent urination. These symptoms affect not only your body but also your mind.
Exercising is an excellent method to break the pattern. Physical activity relaxes your muscles and eases stress in the body. Because the body and mind are so inextricably linked, when your body feels better, so will your mind.
Exercise can also help you get a good night’s sleep if you are having difficulty sleeping. Physical activity raises body temperature, which can relax the mind, resulting in less sheep counting and more sleep. Exercise also aids in regulating your circadian rhythm, our bodies’ built-in alarm clock determining when we feel tired and awake.
Boosts the brain
Exercise improves brain power in various ways, from increasing intellect to enhancing memory. According to studies on mice and humans, cardiovascular exercise generates new brain cells (a process known as neurogenesis) and improves general brain performance. It also helps to prevent cognitive decline and memory loss by strengthening the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is in charge of memory and learning. Physical activity also increases creativity and mental vigour, according to studies. So, a stroll or jog can be all you need if you feel mentally drained.
Reduces symptoms of P.T.S.D. and trauma
Exercise can improve mental health. If a person is going through a traumatic experience, they can spend much time exercising to help manage the trauma. Instead of letting the mind wander to that experience, cross-movement exercises that work both arms and legs, such as walking, running, swimming, weight training, or dancing, are among your best options to keep your mind awake.
Hiking, sailing, mountain biking, and rock climbing also help alleviate P.T.S.D. symptoms. Numerous studies show that people who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional well-being and a lower risk of developing a mental disease. Hence the relationship between exercise and mental health.
If you are looking to have better mental health, then it is advisable to have regular exercise. You can as well speak to a doctor if you have concerns or further questions you need to ask.