6 Unexpected Ways Exercise Improves Your Mental health

mental health - woman and girl doing push ups

Jack LaLanne, nicknamed the Godfather of modern fitness, exercised until the day before he died at 96. He once said, “Exercise is the catalyst. That’s what makes everything happen: your digestion, your elimination, your sex life, your skin, hair, everything about you depends on circulation.”

Well, many people hit the gym or go outdoors (for cycling, jogging, and swimming) because exercise improves their heart rate, pumps more blood to the brain, builds muscles, and of course makes them go from fat to fit naturally.

However, scientists believe that the benefits of exercising don’t just end there. They claim that regular physical exercise can help boost your mental health by boosting your brain function. No matter how old you are or how fit (or unfit) you’re, exercising on a daily basis can gift you with some serious mental benefits for lifetime.

Here are six unexpected ways how exercise can help improve your mental health:

1. Reduces stress

Having a stressful day at the office? Take a walk or hit the gym. Exercising is a great way to calm your nerves and shift your focus a bit, and you’ll start experiencing mental benefits almost instantly. One of the biggest benefits of exercise is that it acts as a stress-buster and keeps you mentally stable during stressful times.

By improving blood circulation to the brain, exercise boosts the production of norepinephrine, a chemical that regulates stress and improves concentration. So, the next time you’re mentally exhausted or stressed out, just get off your seat and do any form of exercise for a few good minutes. You’ll experience the mental benefits almost instantly.

2. Boosts the production of ‘happy’ chemicals

Covering a few miles on the treadmill can be tough, but at the end of the day, it’s worth the effort. Exercise releases endorphins that control feelings like happiness and excitement. The regular you exercise, the better the production of essential chemicals will be in your body. Many doctors recommend exercise for depression and anxiety.

The effects of exercise on your mood can be even more profound than any antidepressant pill or medication.  You don’t have to be a gym rat to reap the benefits of exercise; all you need to do is just sneak in 30 minutes of workout time in your daily routine.

3. Improves confidence and self-esteem

The best way to get back your beachbody is to exercise, exercise, and exercise. Having a well-toned body makes you feel good and look good at the same time. The better you look, the more your confidence and self-esteem will be. Won’t you feel confident about yourself when have a sexy body that attracts the opposite sex like bees to honey?

4. Outdoor exercises for Vitamin D

To enhance the experience, take your workout outdoors. No matter how stressed out you’re, spending time in the nature can help relieve stress, and when that’s coupled with exercise, you get superior results. Choose a simple outdoor activity that suits you – it can be jogging, cycling, swimming, hiking, or any other of your choice. Do it every day and you will be able to burn a good amount of calories while having fun.

What’s more, by soaking up in the sun, your body gets a healthy dose of vitamin D, which is otherwise hard to get via food and packaged supplements. In turn, you’ll start seeing yourself getting relieved from emotional problems like stress and depression.

5. Boosts brainpower

Laboratory studies conducted on rats and men have proved that cardiovascular exercises help generate new brain cells and eventually result in a healthier brain. It has also been found that exercise fosters brain-specific protein called BDNF which is linked to the decision making, thinking, and learning skills of an individual.

6. Helps control addiction

The brain reacts to any form of pleasure-sensitive stuff like exercise, sex, drugs, tobacco, and alcohol by releasing a reward chemical called dopamine, which in turns makes people want more of what they’re taking, because it gives them ‘pleasure’. However, the good thing is, exercise can help release chemicals and aid in addiction recovery. It can not only be a distraction from unhealthy addictions but also help in the recovery and improvement of the person’s physical and mental well-being.

Improve Your mental health

These are some of the unexpected ways exercise improves your mental health.

So, if you have been finding lazy excuses to sneak in some ‘exercise minutes’ in your daily routine, then it’s probably time to change things for good.

And improve your body and mind at the same time.

Now, that’s a double whammy!

About the Author:

Evelyn  is a fitness writer at garagegymplanner.com. She writes regularly on topics revolving around exercise and diet and helps educate readers on the best ways to improve their health and looks naturall

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  1. Denniston k. Abiemoh says:

    Hi am Denniston
    This is super stuff . l have been looking for something to make me start serious exercising and l think this is it. Double whammy absolutely discribes it. All these health benefiting information for free!, WOW God bless you abundantly.
    Thanks Mary.

  2. ASHOK VERMA says:

    Liked very much

  3. Cindy says:

    Hello Mary, for a long time I was searching for some interesting exercise that can make me mentally strong. This blog is just perfect search for me.

  4. Maa Durga says:

    Awesome and helpful post! Thanks for sharing this blog.

  5. mahind. says:

    feeling sleepy even after 7/8 hrs of sleep,very difficult to concentrate and memorise things.very difficult to make decision or being logicaL..READING YOUR POSTS FOR SOME TIME..LOOKING FOR A POSSITIVE REPLY..Thanks

  6. Hello Evelyn and Mary
    Great post! It was very insightful and very informative. I did’t know that exercise provides brain boosting power. Again thanks for such a value-packed post.

  7. Thanks for Sharing Technical information and importance of Blog..

  8. paschal onah says:

    I must say all your point are perfect. Exercise is a very important activity every human being must embrace. Thanks for this post.

  9. Bren Murphy says:

    So excited by this! I took up running after quitting heavy drinking and it has proved a great way to run out my anxiety. Exercise is now a big part of my mental health maintenance habit!

  10. Egon Swerev says:

    this is awesome really awesome.. thanks…

  11. Nice post dear . I like your post thanks for sharing .

  12. bharat says:

    sucha happy things
    bharat´s last blog post ..Buy Online Punjab State Bumper Lottery

  13. Chris says:

    Excellent points. I often wonder, though, about the right percentage of time to spend outdoors. Vitamin D versus skin damage, and all that.

    (And why on Earth does this comment “seem spammy”?)
    Chris´s last blog post ..Karate Kata Secrets of the NBA

  14. […] Exercise is the catalyst. That's what makes everything happen. And it can also boost your mental health in man  […]

  15. Daniel says:

    I like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!

  16. Christina says:

    Your linking connections between exercise, reduced stress, and improved brain function are right on target. Stress wreaks havoc on the body and exercise relaxes the muscles, releasing this tension.

  17. andy mcnaby says:

    Great post! I like the what you do .

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