Many people understand that exercise helps them improve their physical health. An active lifestyle helps reduce your risk of disease, improves your muscle structure, and more. But did you know that your physical health also contributes to your mental health? Physical activity includes benefits such as reducing stress, improving your mood, and so much more!
If you find yourself feeling tense after a long day or need a quick break from a stressful situation, taking a brisk walk or working out for a bit is a great way to relieve some stress. Working out helps you better manage both physical and mental stress. The activity also boosts norepinephrine, a chemical your brain uses to moderate its response to stress.
Improves Your Mood
Exercise is excellent for boosting your mood! Physical activity releases endorphins, which make you feel happier. According to some studies, exercise can even reduce the symptoms of clinical depression. If you struggle with depression or anxiety, hit the gym. Some people find exercising as effective as antidepressant pills. You don’t have to work out for hours to receive the mental benefits. Even just working out for a half-hour a few times a week will help you feel better, both physically and mentally.
Fight Cognitive Decline
Aging and degenerative diseases sometimes cause the brain to shrink as people age. This causes people to lose some of their brain’s functions. Although exercise can’t prevent aging, it can help your brain better fight against cognitive decline. According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, people who exercise face less deterioration of white matter in their brains. Exercise slows cognitive decline and may even help prevent dementia.
Boosts Learning and Memory
Because it leads to the creation of new hippocampal neurons, regular exercise helps improve your memory and your ability to learn. Many studies have connected physical fitness to children’s brain development, but the connection between activity and better memory doesn’t end with childhood. In fact, a study found that healthy adults were able to retain more vocabulary after running sprints.
An active lifestyle doesn’t just improve your physical health, but it leads to better mental health as well. Regular exercise helps reduce stress, fight depression, and even boost your memory! Even exercising just thirty minutes a few times a week will make a difference in your mental health.