While most people are well aware of the benefits of exercise on the body, what is less well known is the effects of exercise on the brain and mental health. Does the health of the body have any impact on the brain? Does your level of physical fitness have any effect on your mental health?
Effects of Exercise on the Body and Mind
Regular exercise makes it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With the positive effects of regular exercise on the body, what effect does regular exercise have on the brain? Can exercise help improve mental health?
Dopamine and Serotonin
When we exercise, our body produces chemicals that can help boost our moods. These chemicals are serotonin and dopamine, both of which impact our lives for the better in many ways. In fact, these chemicals also help us sleep deeply at night, which can also impact how we feel emotionally.
Exercise and Self-Esteem
One large factor in mental health is our self-esteem. When we don’t see ourselves as valuable and worthwhile, our mental health suffers. Fortunately, physical activity can see a marked improvement in self-esteem, which in turn can bolster our mental health.
Stress and Mental Health
If our bodies stay in a state of stress for a long enough time, then our mental health can take a dive. However, routine exercise increases our endorphins, which in turn help us to manage stress better. Needless to say, when stress levels lower, our mental well-being improves, and we can feel more like ourselves again.
Lower Anxiety Levels
Anxiety, like stress, can eat away at our emotional wellness, leading to insomnia and depression. Physical activity like exercise can combat anxiety, starting by helping our muscles relax and balancing out our stress hormones, which can make symptoms of anxiety worse.