One of the most frequent recommendations that mental health professionals make to their patients is to get more exercise. The reasoning behind this is simple: Exercise improves mental health. Both aerobic and muscle-building exercise can have profound benefits for your mental wellness in addition to your physical health.
Exercise eases stress.
Stress is at the core of many mental health issues, and it can be tough to manage. Stress may come from your job, your finances, your family, or your romantic relationships. Exercise helps combat stress by releasing feel-good hormones that dampen the effects of cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone. These feel-good hormones, such as dopamine, also help you feel rewarded for your efforts and can help you sleep better.
Working out can quiet your mind.
Another positive effect of exercise is that it can serve as a great distraction for your mind. Your daily workout is a great time to focus inwardly and concentrate only on your performance, so you can take a break from normal worries and stressors. You might also notice that you are better able to focus on other tasks and sharpen your memory as you make a habit of regular workouts.
Exercise boosts your confidence.
One of the great things about working out regularly is that you’ll naturally become better at it. You may start to achieve goals in your strength and speed, which will in turn boost your confidence. Even after just a week of regularly exercising, you might notice your body image and self-confidence rising.