Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
It goes without saying that exercise is not only beneficial, but crucial to a healthy lifestyle. Most of us will simply associate this with looking slim and being able to push ourselves physically. However, physical exercise is also a fantastic way to improve mental health. It has now been firmly established by experts in the field and the NHS that exercise benefits mental health alongside physical health and the way we look. There truly is a strong and proven link between having a healthy body and a healthy mind.
So What is a Healthy Mind?
A healthy mind entails feeling positive about yourself, your work and others around you. Somebody with a healthy mind will be well equipped to embrace and enjoy highs in their life whilst also dealing with the lows. People with a healthy mind will often feel a sense of purpose in their life, whether they are successful or just content, they will know that what they are doing is worthwhile. Physical activity has been proven to help people maintain a healthy mind and achieve it. It is the sense of challenge, self-esteem and self-control which comes with exercise that has such a profoundly positive impact on our mental health.
How Exercise Can Improve:
Stress and Anxiety
When we experience events that put pressure on us or make us feel upset our body begins to produce hormones, such as cortisol, which have nasty physical and mental side effects such as not sleeping, feeling sick and anxiety. When we exercise, our bodies combat cortisol and therefore reduce our stress levels. Furthermore, through exercise we get a sense of relief and distraction from those things which cause us stress, essentially working out is a fantastic and very healthy distraction from the worries of life.
Self-esteem is incredibly important, that feeling of being positive about yourself and overlooking your flaws by concentrating on what makes you a good person. Exercise impacts self-esteem in two ways. Firstly, by exercising you can lose weight and tone up which is a great way to feel better about yourself. Secondly, from exercise you get that boost of achievement, when you have just run 1km or a marathon, we set ourselves our own goals and feel great when we reach them.
Physical activity is a natural anti-depressant; it can act as a treatment in and of itself or alongside other treatment types and medications. Exercise really does bring out the best in us and indeed how we think of ourselves. Whether you get joy out of being part of a sports team or enjoy the self-esteem boosting rewards that come with working hard in the gym, exercise improves the way we see ourselves. Exercise is highly recommended for people suffering with depression, it is a healthy way to improve self-esteem and occupy your mind.
Focus and Happiness
A huge aspect of mental well-being is simply just feeling happy and satisfied. When we exercise our body releases dopamine, a chemical that helps transfer information across our brain neurons. Though the chemical’s name makes it sound like it might just relax us, it is actually a fantastic stimulant for movement, attention span and focus. Furthermore, dopamine contributes to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. It is a natural stimulant and pleasure-giver which can be is produced during exercising.
In the below video Dr Luria does a fantastic job of explaining the science behind this matter.
Exercise truly is a fantastic way to feel better on the outside and inside. The challenges that come with it give us that rewarding feeling whilst the physical benefits give us that self-esteem boost. It doesn’t matter how you exercise, you could go to the gym, go for a bike for or simply just walk your dog, any physical activity that gets your heart pumping will have great benefits for your mental health too. If you would like to find out more about personal training and the services we offer then please get in touch today to see how you can achieve all the benefits which come with exercise.