When it comes to healthy living lifestyle, most people are only concerning about their physical health and forget about their mental health. Sometimes, they only aware of how they look in the mirror and what people thought about their appearances, whether they are fat or slim enough. They only concern about how much time they should spend in the gym to look good and great among their friends and colleagues. It is true that doing exercises are not only about keeping your body stays in shape but also how you feed your mind and soul because no matter how prominent your look is, your mental health is much more important.
In conclusion, what is the point of having ideal body shape but you are always stressful about your look and about what people think about you? If it is what you are currently dealing with, finding out more about benefits of exercise for mental health so you are not doing exercises for nothing is important.
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What is Mental Health?
According to WHO, mental health is a state of well-being. How good you are in controlling your own emotional state and psychological condition are considered to be part how great you are in managing your mental health. It means, mental health is including the way you handle stress, how to cope with daily productivity and also the way you socialize with people and community around you. In other words, mental health is not only something inside you but also the way yourself react to your surroundings. So, mental health is one of the important aspects in your life without which, conditions like stress, depression and anti-social problems are likely to happen.
Unfortunately, everyone has his/her own way to deal with their mental health situation, some of them are acing but some of them are failing. There are a lot of factors that could affect someone’s mental health condition. However, based on years of studies three main factors below are mostly the cause of someone is having mental health problems:
- Biological factor, when a child was born with problems in their genes or brain chemistry. In other words, the child was not born normally.
- Life experience factor in the form of abuse or trauma that affect someone’s life and mental state.
- Family history is also able to cause someone’s born with special condition.
When a person is not in healthy state mentally, the way they think, behave and how they mood swings and changes could be out of control and hard to understand by those in healthy mental state. However, even those with excellent mental health sometimes could be out of control as well especially when they are facing certain situations they could not handle.
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Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health
Healthy living lifestyle including daily exercises could help in improving and maintaining the state of mental health and some information about benefits of exercises for mental health below may open your mind that sometimes simple exercises could bring more benefits to your health not only physically but also mentally.
- Solution to Stress Relief
During exercise your body will produce norepinephrine; it is a certain chemical that will make your brain is able to deal with stressful condition while at the same time, exercise is also helping you releasing some physical tension.
- Happy Chemical Booster
Endorphin is also well known as happy chemical and during exercise your body will produce this kind of chemical in large amount. So, it is normal if you feel happier even after a simple workout.
- Exercises as Antidepressant
Some studies also stated that exercise could act as antidepressant as well to help people coping with their depress condition.
- Relieves the Depression Symptoms
Though depression is not a simple matter and should be handled by professional but doing exercise regularly could relieve the symptoms of depression and reduce the episodes.
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- Reduces the Symptoms of ADHD
Though exercise is not going to solve the ADHD condition but at least doing it regularly could assist in reducing the symptoms of ADHD. So, children with this condition could be more focus and motivated.
- Improves Your Mood
Endorphin also responsible to the way your mood is reacting to sometimes. Sometimes, mental health is not always about brain but also about feeling and the euphoria feeling caused by endorphin could help you improving your mood.
- Boosts Self-Confidence
Believe it or not but exercise could help boosting your self-confidence as well because it affects the way you see yourself and elevates positive self-image to make you see yourself in the best way.
- Greats for Nerves System
Exercises have been proven to be effective in maintaining your nerves system as well to make sure all information is delivered correctly.
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- Part of Trauma Therapy
During trauma therapy, exercises usually included in the program though of course it depends on how deep the trauma is.
- Get to More of Your Surrounding
You must underestimate the fact that doing it outdoor could give you more benefits of exercises for your mental health than indoor because during exercise you could breathe the fresh air, meet new people and enjoy the view.
- Prevents Cognitive Declines
There is no point of having healthy body but your brain cells are old and grey. Exercises will improve the oxygen distribution to your brain and prevent the degeneration of hippocampus.
- Promotes Better Memory and Learning Ability
Hippocampus is one prominent part in your brain that has function to maintain your memory and learning, so for better memory and learning ability, don’t forget to exercise regularly.
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- Alleviates Anxiety
Anxiety could be suffered by anyone even by those with excellent state of mind but some conditions could force it to occur. Whenever you start feeling anxiety, just do some simple exercises will help you alleviating it and get more benefits of exercises for mental health.
- Calms Yourself Down
Sometimes you just cannot avoid stressful situation and the only choice is facing it. Well, doing simple exercises will help you calming yourself down to face whatever problems that are waiting for you.
- Improves Brain Performance
Brain is the center of everything and some studies have stated that exercises could increase the level of brain-derived protein well known as BDNF that affects the brain performance.
- Helps Control Addiction
Dopamine is one of the chemicals released by brain that could cause addiction. Exercises can help the recovery process in much more effective way than any drugs.
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- Solution to Better Sleep
Surely you have experience a deep sleep after an intensive workout because the right amount of exercise could act as sleeping pill to fight insomnia.
- Increases Relaxation
During exercises, your body temperature will be increased but some hours later your body will start to back in normal temperature and at that time you will start feeling relax.
- Be More Positive
One of the factors that could affect your mental health is when your brain is too full with negative thoughts. Exercises will kick away all of those negative thoughts and give you more positive things to think about.
- More Productive
After regular exercise you will find yourself more productive because you always in your best condition.
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- Boosts Creativity
Not only your physical appearance is improved but your brain performance is also improved. This condition could make you more creative and innovative.
- More Focus
As mentioned above, exercise could help even children with ADHD become focus. So, if you start to find yourself hard to concentrate, just hit the gym for one or two hours to release the tension.
- Makes Better Decision
When your head and your feeling are at the best mental state, you will be able to make a better decision.
- Natural Energy Booster
Some people thought that exercise is only making them tired. Well, in regular basis and in the right amount exercises are a natural energy booster.
- Exercise Makes A Better You
In summary, regular exercises are going to make a better you, physically and mentally.
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Reverse Effects of Exercises for Mental Health
When it comes to exercises, you must have known that they are easier said than done because for some people, especially those with specific mental health problems may see the challenge of exercises as big obstacles. If you are not careful, instead of the benefits of exercises for mental health that you get but the reverse effects as below:
- Sometimes people are too exciting to start something new but then they will start feeling exhausted because they are not accustomed with the routine. So, it is okay to start small and don’t force yourself too much.
- When someone is not in healthy mental state, even small matter like simple obstacle during exercise could make them feel overwhelmed. This condition could lead to deeper stress condition.
- There are a lot of types of exercises; you should choose one that suits you best because not all exercise are good or suitable for you. If you choose it wrong, instead of result, you will feel more hopeless as a failure when the fact is that type of exercise is just not for you.
As the start in doing exercise, why don’t you just focus on stuff you love the most? For example, though jogging is kind of popular nowadays but since you love cycling more is better for you to choose the one that you love the most. For the benefits of exercises for mental health, while doing the exercise, don’t force yourself too hard and always focus on being comfortable with yourself and what you’re doing. Once you feel comfortable with yourself, the result will follow suit.