When we talk about exercise we usually refer to the physical health benefits: increased levels of cardiovascular fitness, muscle gain, fat loss etc. but what we often overlook is the impact exercise can have on our Mental Health.
Today (Wednesday 25th September) is National Fitness Day, and we’re focusing on celebrating the benefits that exercise can have on our Mental Health and Wellbeing.
? Exercise makes us feel happier
When we exercise our bodies release endorphins, which are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system. Endorphins create feelings of happiness and euphoria, which can boost our mental wellbeing!
? Exercise can help reduce stress levels
Did you know that exercise can help manage mental stress? Norepinephrine is a chemical within the body which moderates the brain’s response to stress, and exercising can increase it’s concentration. This means that working out can actually reduce stress levels and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension.
? Exercise can help us catch more Zzz’s
Physical exercise is tiring! And when we feel more tired at the end of the day we sleep better, and often deeper. Sleeping helps us to recover from mental as well as physical exertion, so making sure we catch enough Zz’s is super important!
? Exercise can boost brainpower
Cardiovascular exercise (such as jogging/rowing/dancing etc.) can create new neurogenesis (brain cells) and this can improve overall brain performance. Did you know that a challenging workout can actually increase your levels of brain-derived protein? Known as BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), this protein in the body is believed to help with decision making, thinking and learning.
So there you have it!
Exercising regularly can benefit our bodies in many ways – mentally and physically. So why not take today as an opportunity to head outside, enjoy the fresh air, and take part in #NationalFitnessDay 2019!