Physical exercise has always been viewed as a means of improving physical health, but recent studies have shown that it has a direct link to mental health as well. Exercise has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and cognitive function. This blog post will delve into the connection between physical exercise and mental health.
Exercise improves symptoms of depression and anxiety
Physical exercise increases the body’s production of endorphins, otherwise known as the “happy hormones”. These endorphins work to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression and improve mood. The effect of exercise on mood is so strong that it has been shown to be equally effective as medication and therapy in treating depression and anxiety.
Exercise reduces stress
Physical exercise is a great antidote to stress. When you exercise, your body releases cortisol, which is commonly referred to as the stress hormone. Exercise helps reduce levels of cortisol in the body, thereby reducing stress. Regular exercise can also increase resilience to stress, making it easier to manage stressful situations.
Exercise boosts self-esteem
There is a direct link between exercise and self-esteem. Regular exercise helps improve body image, which can help boost self-esteem. When individuals feel good about their body, it helps improve their overall well-being and outlook on life.
Exercise improves cognitive function
Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function in both adults and children. Exercise helps improve memory, attention, and can also help improve overall academic performance. Exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Exercise as a form of therapy
Physical exercise has been shown to be an effective form of therapy for those suffering from mental health issues. Exercise therapy has been used to successfully treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD, among other mental health conditions.
Physical exercise has been shown to have a direct link to mental health. Exercise helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and cognitive function. Incorporating exercise into one’s daily routine can lead to improved mental health, a better outlook on life, and overall well-being.
Northeast Missouri Health Council, Partners for a lifetime of health
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