Mental health benefits of exercise: From less stress to a boost in self-esteem, exercise is as great for your brain as it is for your body.
The Psychological Benefits of Exercise
Most of us know the many physical benefits of exercise: weight control, lower blood pressure and increased energy, just to name a few. But what about the psychological benefits of exercise? The last two years have had a profound effect on the general mental health of our population.
From easing symptoms of depression and anxiety to keeping your memory sharp, there’s no shortage of mental benefits of exercise. This is no different for your child. The five psychological benefits of physical activity below will have you and your kids tying up your shoelaces and heading out the door.
1. It lowers Stress Levels
Increasing your heart rate can actually reverse stress-induced brain issues by stimulating the production of ‘neurohormones,’ which improve your mood and thinking, often clouded by stressful events. Exercise also forces the body’s nervous systems to communicate with one another, improving the body’s overall ability to respond to stress.
2. Increases in Confidence
From improving endurance to losing weight, there’s no shortage of physical achievements that come about from regular exercise. All those achievements can all add up to a whopping boost of self-esteem and the confidence that comes with it.
3. Better Sleep
If you or your children have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, exercise can help with that too. Physical activity increases body temperature, which can have calming effects on the mind, leading to less ‘sheep counting’ and more shuteye.
Exercise also helps regulate your bodies’ built-in alarm clock that controls when we feel tired and when we feel alert.
4. A Natural Energy Source
While starting an exercise routine can feel energy-sapping, over time, exercise becomes a natural way to improve energy levels. This fights against the draining effects that mental health problems can cause and motivates us to get out of bed and embrace the day.
5. You’ll Achieve your Goals
Exercise is great for giving us goals to aim for, to one day turn that kilometre-long jog into a mile-long one and onward. Having something that helps you to push ourselves, to achieve your goals gives you feelings of accomplishment and self-worth, which in turn makes you feel happier about our lives in general. Your children can also set themselves fitness and exercise goals.
There you have it! Forming a positive relationship between exercise and mental health is one of many helpful techniques to improve you and your children’s overall mood and outlook on life.
Exercise is often seriously underappreciated in its ability to make us feel better, not just physically but mentally as well. Hopefully this insight into why it makes such a sizeable difference to our wellbeing will encourage you to introduce more activities into your day-to-day life.