Physical exercise can be extremely beneficial not only for your physical health but also for our mental health. Physical exercise is defined as a type of physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning any part of the body. This could be something such as lifting weights, following a workout routine, or playing on a sports team. However, this is not the only way to exercise. Any form of physical activity outside of the normal daily routine can be seen as exercise. A brisk walk, a jog at the gym, or playing a game outside with friends could also be seen as physical exercise.
Most people know that exercise can have some amazing physical health benefits. Regular physical exercise can improve your muscle strength, boost your endurance, and help you reach a target weight if that is your goal. Exercise also delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. What that means is that exercise helps you improve the function your heart and lungs. This improvement can help increase your energy levels throughout the day meaning more energy to tackle everyday chores and tasks. Physical exercise can help keep your body strong, in shape, and working as efficient as it can be.
Exercise isn’t just for your physical health either. Regular physical exercise can help improve your mental health as well. One of the most common mental health benefits of exercising is that it is a great stress reliever. Exercise increases concentrations of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a chemical in your brain that helps moderate the brain’s response to stress. Exercise also causes your body to produce endorphins, which trigger feelings of happiness and euphoria. Research has shown that in people dealing with major depression, exercise can increase the chance of remission by 22% by circulating endorphins. Other mental health benefits of exercise include the following:
- Improving self-confidence: regardless of weight, size, gender, or age exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of their attractiveness.
- Preventing cognitive decline: exercise can not cure things such as Alzheimer’s, but it can help defend your brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45.
- Alleviating anxiety: hopping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Boost brainpower: studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells and improve overall brain performance.
- Sharpen memory: working up a sweat increases production of cells in the hippocampus that are responsible or memory and learning.
There are several benefits of regular physical exercise for you both physically and mentally. Even though it is the holiday season maybe it is the right time to get back in shape or just start exercising for fun. Maybe you can make it your new year’s resolution or make it a friendly competition with friends or coworkers to see who can make it to the gym regularly. Whatever your motivation is for getting in some exercise just know that you are doing your mind and your body a load of good.