How Exercise Benefits Your Mental Health
In the light of COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns, the last few years have been challenging for many. As we enter the new year, it’s a good time to start thinking how you can improve your mental health if you have been struggling with a working from home routine and the other impacts of COVID, such as reduced socialising. Exercise is one of the best ways you can preserve your mental health and recover from mental illness. This claim is backed by tonnes of evidence: it’s known that if you are not looking after your body your mental health can suffer and vice versa. Contrarily, those suffering from mental illness are less likely to participate in exercise. If you are suffering cognitively, it’s worth reading this blog to ensure you understand the importance of improving your mental health by exercising.
How Does Exercise Affect Mental Health?
There are several well-known benefits of regular exercise which work in tandem to improve a person’s mental health. While not totally comprehensive, the list of exercise’s benefits includes:
Improving your mood
When we exercise, our brain releases endorphins which enhance our sense of wellbeing. Exercise is also distracting: it provides something positive to focus on when we are struggling to cope with anxiety and depression.
Improving self-esteem, confidence and cognitive function
Psychologically, meeting exercise goals or challenges helps us to gain confidence in our abilities.
Managing weight gain
Getting in shape also helps us to feel good about our appearance which can help with mental health struggles.
Improving social outcomes
Furthermore, when people are suffering from mental illness, they often find it hard to find common ground with and socialise with people. Exercising can be a catalyst which enables us to interact with others in a positive way. In other words, maintaining a shared interest in getting fit can act as an anchor which develops our ability to socialise and maintain friendships with others participating in the same activities.
Helping you to maintain a routine and avoid bad habits
Once an exercise routine is established, keeping it helps serve as an anchor that can enable us to improve the structure of other areas of our life. Waking up on time, getting to work on time and allocating an appropriate amount of time to daily activities can all be achieved when a person has cemented a regular exercise routine.
Improving the quality of your sleep
Tiring ourselves out physically can improve the quality of our REM cycles which can lead to dramatic improvements in our mental health. Sleep is an incredibly important factor in maintaining positive mental health outcomes and exercising regularly can play a large role in maintaining good sleep patterns.
Call Erko Physio to Plan Your Exercise
If you are struggling to get into shape or don’t know where to begin your exercise regimen, contact Erko Physio today for the best local advice the Inner West has to offer. We can help you plan an exercise plan from start to finish to ensure that you are exercising at an appropriate pace and looking after your mental health. Our Alexandria physiotherapy is easily accessible from Erskineville, Newtown and Marrickville too. Trust the experts at Erko Physio to plan your exercise routine and improve your mental health.