How Working Out Affects Your Mood
Getting regular exercise doesn’t just help you look better. It helps you feel better too. Working out is great for your body and physical health, but even more importantly, it improves your mental health, energy, and overall mood.
For those prone to depression, anxiety, or just general feelings of blah-ness (and isn’t that all of us at times?), regular exercise brings out the mood-boosting endorphins you need to get through your slump.
5 Ways Exercise Improves Your Mental Health
1. Instant Mood Boost
While it might take weeks or even months to notice the physical benefits from exercising, you will notice the mood-boosting advantages within minutes. Exercise really can be a quick fix. After just five minutes of moderate exercise, you can feel your mood lifting. It’s the most natural way to get a mood boost.
2. A Clear Mind
Anxiety and stress can take over your thoughts, leaving you paralyzed to make decisions or fearful of “what-if” statements. Exercises like Yoga, Kickboxing and Zumba take complete concentration. Concentrating only on your movement takes you away from your stress and helps leave it behind. You’ll come out of your workout with a more clear and focused mind.
3. Better Sleep
Start your day groggy and the whole thing gets thrown off. No one can think clearly or feel great on a night of restless sleep. Research has indicated that regular exercise can boost sleep duration and sleep quality. Expending energy through exercise can help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.
4. Reduce Anxiety
According to an ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) survey, 7 out of 10 adults in the U.S. experience stress or anxiety daily. Constant stress can take a toll on your mental health and overall well-being. Luckily, exercise reduces anxiety by releasing feel-good chemicals that affect neurotransmitters. Exercise also increases body temperature, which helps induce a sense of calm. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
5. Fight Depression
There’s no doubt that exercise has an impact on depression. One study showed that people who exercised regularly reported having fewer poor mental health days. It makes perfect sense because when you exercise, your body produces endorphins. These natural mood boosters increase optimistic feelings while reducing anxiety and stress hormones.
If there ever was a key to happiness, it has to be exercise. A short stint of physical activity can help you sleep better, clear your mind, reduce your stress, and help you feel better overall. Next time you’ve got the blues, go for a short run or take a new class, and feel the positive effects of exercise.