Cherry Hill ACSM-Certified personal trainer, shares 5 Mental Health Benefits of exercising:
Lets talk about BRAINS (no this is not a zombie related article). We all know the physical effects exercise can have on our body, including, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, lowered resting heart rate, reduced risk of hypertension and overall morbidity. If that isn’t enough of a reason to get you to the gym and scream “where do I sign up?!” we’re going to discuss the benefits a little sweat can have on your mental health and well being. Here are five reasons to get out and get started exercising with or without a personal trainer.
Health Benefit 1: Stress relief
We have all had a case of the Mondays. Overdue Deadlines , bosses who seem like it’s their goal to make your life a nightmare, uncooperative co workers, OH! And then trying to rush home and get a healthy dinner on the table for your family or get back in time for your kids after school event. Unless you’re superman/woman, all these things can lead to STRESS! It may surprise you to find that one of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Exercise increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a hormone that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. Stress also increases cortisol levels, which is termed the “stress hormone” and has been found to contribute to weight gain. So, working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress, addition by subtraction. This may help in increasing the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension.
Health benefit 2- Endorphins:
To quote Elle from Legally blond “Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t” and Elle could not be more right! Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria since endorphins are the body’s pain sensation blockers, natural opiates. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a gym rat to release endorphins, working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week will instantly boost your overall mood! Need more of a reason to get moving?
Health benefit 3- Preventing cognitive decline:
Unfortunately, as we age, our brains can get a little fuzzy. Working out, especially between the ages of 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning. So although exercise and a healthy diet cannot completely stop the degenerative effects of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, it can help slow the shrinkage of our brains that begins to occur after age 45.
Health benefit 4- Improving self-confidence:
Get to that gym so you can strut your stuff! Not only your looks, but the activities you’ll be able to participate in and in your energy levels! On a very basic level physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender or age exercise can quickly elevate your perception of your personal attractiveness as well as your abilities, increasing self worth. In turn, this will keep you coming back, exercising, more self-worth, exercising, more self-worth, on and on, it’s a big circle of self-love!
Health benefit 5- Increased Libido drive:
Exercise can have a great effect on your relationship. A Baylor University study found that men’s testosterone levels were highest during the 48 hours after they had lifted weights. Meaning, resistance training paired with cardio vascular can help in performance as well as endurance. Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body. It may help in performance, as well as, Increasing and intensifying sexual pleasure. It can also spice things up, by Increasing your flexibility or strength, why not both!
Working out can have positive effects far beyond the gym. So stop being selfish and go workout, so you can be happier around your family, sharper at work and more confident in so many ways!
By: Shannon Benedetto- Knott
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