We all know that working out and being active is good for our bodies. However, have you ever stopped to think about how physical fitness is also good for your mental health as well?
Not only will spending 30 minutes a day breaking a sweat help to keep your waistline trim and your heart and lungs healthy, but it will also provide a number of benefits to your mental and emotional well being, too. To show you how, here are three ways that being physically fit can improve your mental health.
Dealing With Trauma
While exercise can sometimes cause a bit of trauma to your physical body as you break down your muscles in order to build them up again, it can conversely help if you’re dealing with any mental or emotional traumas. According to HelpGuide.org, to truly get better when handling mental trauma or PTSD, it’s best to focus all your energy on how your body is working and feeling while completing an exercise. This amount of focus can help your body move past mental blocks you’ve previously been stuck behind that were prohibiting you from accepting and dealing with the trauma you’ve had. Activities such as hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and mountain biking have been known to be most beneficial in these areas.
Get A Handle On Addiction
If you’re trying to deal with an addiction, physical exercise can be a great way to overcome cravings or addictive tendencies. Sophia Breene, a contributor to Greatist.com, shares that when you exercise, your brain releases the same chemical that’s released when you participate in your previously addictive behavior. This chemical is called dopamine, and exercise can help your body to produce just enough of this chemical to keep you focused on addiction recovery and away from whatever substance you’re trying to avoid.
Boost Your Mood
In addition to the rush of dopamine you get while working out, you can also experience a general boost in your mood as a result of participating in physical exercise. Kristen Weir, a contributor to the American Psychological Association, shares that even after just 5 minutes of moderate exercise, many people notice a significant boost in their mood. This can be a great way to take the edge off feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Not only will you be looking better, but you’ll be feeling better, too.
If you’ve been searching for a way to improve your mental health in a safe and natural way, or if you’ve been wondering just what your exercise routine is doing for your body as a whole, consider how the mental benefits mentioned above could make your life better each and every day.