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5 Ways Fitness Positively Impacts Your Mental Health

5 Ways Fitness Positively Impacts Your Mental Health

Physical fitness is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise helps muscle growth, the heart and will keep fat levels within a fit parameter. But, not many people know that physical fitness has significant positive impacts on one’s mental health.

Exercising can do amazing things to improve various aspects of one’s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional health.

Here are five ways fitness positively impacts mental health.

Stress

Stress can come from many variables. Work, financial insecurities, interpersonal relationship issues, or other aspects of one’s life can make a person feel very stressed.

Also, stress can cause many physical reactions. Muscles can become quite tense, leading to pain in various areas like the neck or shoulder, or even the face.

Bad stress can also cause headaches and lead to digestive system issues.

What can exercise do? When one uses, the brain releases numerous chemicals called endorphins. The endorphins will relax those tense muscles and ease aspects of the digestive system.

Once a person’s muscular and digestive systems feel more relaxed, a person may contact physically better.

That physical improvement can feedback loop and improve the emotional health of the individual.

Anxiety

Additionally, anxiety is another complex mental state. With fear, the intense feeling of unease can stop a person from enjoying day-to-day activities.

Relaxing can be an excellent way to get one’s anxiety issues to calm, but exercising has an incredible way of relieving those symptoms of anxiety.

Exercising has a way of helping a person meditate by focusing their tasks on applying itself.

Along with the release of endorphins and proper oxygen and blood blow across the body, exercise helps produce a more mindful state. This conscious state decreases anxiety and can help put the person at ease.

Control Addiction

Alternatively, addiction is a dominant disease. Whether it is drugs or alcohol, addiction significantly impacts one’s mental health.

When one exercises, the chemical dopamine is released. Dopamine is a “reward” chemical. This chemical makes a person feel good.

Dopamine is the same chemical released from various substances that can also cause addictions. After a good workout, the body releases dopamine to make the person feel good.

In a way, exercise becomes a therapeutic escape for addicts as the dopamine comes from training and not addictive substances.

Increase Productivity

Productivity is a necessity in today’s busy environment. However, regular exercise may increase productivity.

Exercise increases the overall production of energy in the long term, thanks to moving more frequently.

The person may also sleep better thanks to exercising regularly, which will help them work harder in the day.

All of this keeps the mind sharp and ready to tackle the tasks of the day.

Cognition

Cognition is essentially the ability of a person to attain and keep information.

When a person is young, cognitive skills are most active. But, as a person gets older, brain cells begin to deteriorate, causing the level of cognition to decrease.

The decline is especially true in the hippocampus region of the brain. What can exercise do? Exercising releases a ton of chemicals that help brain cells remain strong.

New brain cells are often produced from activity thanks to the production of the brain protein BDNF.

Although exercising can never stop the deterioration already occurring in the brain, such as during Alzheimer’s, exercising can help minimize brain cells’ decline over a lifetime and even boost mental stamina.

Check out this infographic by Fitness19 for more on the relationship between fitness and mental health. 

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