Working out on a regular basis comes with dozens of benefits for your body. But that doesn’t mean that exercise completely neglects your brain. It doesn’t – physical training comes with brain health boosting merits as well.
That said, here is a list of 6 ways exercise improves your mental health:
1 – Boosts Blood Circulation
Like other organs of the body, your brain also needs oxygen for optimal functionality. Exercise gives your blood flow a boost, taking oxygen to your brain and neurons, sharpening your cognitive skills. Only 20 minutes of working out per day can rev up the engine of your mental capabilities. This exercise doesn’t have to be high intensity – moderate does just fine.
2 – Promotes Cell Regeneration
Exercise also enables the regeneration of cells of the brain. It enables the faster and better growth of neurons through a process called neurogenesis. Working out stimulates the production of BDNF, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which promotes the growth of brain cells. This prevents the development of neurodegenerative diseases that are associated with growing age.
3 – Improves Mood
Exercising is also a great way to feel happier. During physical activity, endorphins are released which are chemicals that induce happy feelings. This means that working out can actually not only improve your mood but can also give you a positive mindset. So next time you find the blues slipping in, you know you have to put your running shoes on and shoo them away.
4 – Betters Sleep
Working out can also improve your sleep. Research shows that the sleep quality of exercisers is way better than that of non-exercisers. However, a day’s exercise is not going to improve that night’s sleep. You need to be consistent with your efforts to notice this result. What’s more, don’t exercise right before heading to bed – that will only steal your sleep.
5 – Decreases Stress
Exercise is also a stress-buster. It leaves you refreshed with happy hormones flowing in you. It gives you a positive outlook on life. It also relaxes your muscles and encourages the release of tension. This is how it fights off stress. Any form of exercise works wonders for busting stress. You can go for cycling, walking, yoga or any other form of exercise for reaping this benefit.
6 – Fights Off Anxiety And Depression
Since it is a mood-booster, it’s unsurprising that exercise can combat mood-related disorders. Anxiety is a condition that leaves one with fear whereas depression is characterized by extreme sadness and feelings of loneliness. In the both the cases, working out is recommended to improve your mood. Training helps increase focus and concentration along releasing happy hormones.
Exercise helps your brain in more ways than one. It improves blood flow to the processing unit and sharpens your cognitive skills. It releases endorphins and boosts your mood along with combating mood-related disorders. It fights off stress and improves sleep as well.