Wellness of Mind and Body through the Benefits of Exercise
In the last decade, scientists have studied how exercise can enrich brain function. Whatever the person’s age or fitness level, research proves that setting time for exercise brings some considerable mental benefits.
Here are six ways regular exercise can boost cognition and your general sense of well-being:
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Among the best-known mental benefits of exercise is stress reduction. Sweating up can help neutralize physical and mental stress. Also, it increases your body’s reserves of norepinephrine, a biochemical that can tameyour brain’s response to stressful situations. So if you feel at times that you’re being swallowed by mental tension, get out there and start moving.
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Increased Happy Hormone Production
Running a few miles on the treadmill can be a pain, but it’s worth the hard work! As you may have heard before, exercise releases happy hormones known as endorphins. Based on studies, exercise can even calm symptoms of clinically depressed individuals. Because of this, doctors recommend gym time for anyone suffering from depression or anxiety as long as long as they are physically capable. There are cases in which exercise proves to be just as effective as antidepressant medication.
No worries if you’re not exactly the gym buff type — you can get an instant happy buzz even if you work out for only 30 minutes twice or thrice weekly.
Jump on the treadmill to start looking and feeling million dollar. At a basic level, physical fitness improves your self-esteem and develops a positive self-image. Whatever your age, gender, size or weight, exercise can fast elevate your feelings of self-worth.
Enjoying the Great Outdoors
Exercising in the great outdoors can boost your self-esteem even more. Do a bit of research and look for an outdoor workout that is compatible with your style, whether jogging in the park or canoeing or biking or what have you. All that Vitamin D you get from soaking up the sun (wearing that sunscreen, of course!) can stop those depressive symptoms on their tracks.
Maintaining Cognitive Ability
It’s not nice, but it’s true — as we age, our brains get a little less sharp. Though exercise and a healthy diet can’t treat Alzheimer’s disease, it can help prevent or control cognitive decline, which starts after the age of 45 in most people. In people between the ages of 25 and 45, exercise boosts the levels of particular brain chemicals that prevent or delay the degeneration of the hippocampus, that area of the brain that controls learning and memory.
Finally, just a little Q & A: which do you think is better when it comes to relieving anxiety — getting a warm bubble bath or jogging in the park? You may find the answer surprising. The warm and fuzzy chemicals your body releases during and after exercise can help you calm down. And we thought exercise was just a perfect way to shed weight!