We all know exercise is good for our bodies but did you know it’s also good for our mental health? Exercise has numerous positive effects that can help reduce the symptoms of a range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, ADHD and stress.
Exercise and depression
Studies have shown that regular areobic exercise (AKA Cardio) can reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate depression just as effectively as antidepressant medications, minus the side-effects.
Exercising regularly enforces change within the brain that can improve your memory, creativity, sleep and mood. Endorphins (AKA the body’s natural feel good chemical) are released throughout your brain and nervous system when you exercise, boosting your mood and making you feel good.
Exercise can also serve as a distraction, providing a break from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.
Exercise and anxiety
Exercise is a natural, positive and effective treatment for Anxiety. The release of Endorphins in the brain relieves tension and stress, boosts energy and improves wellbeing. Dance and Team sport such as tennis, football or basketball can be more effective as these require more focus and will provide a distraction from your anxieties.
Exercise and stress
Stress causes your muscles to tense. Specifically, in your face, neck, and shoulders which can cause headaches and back or neck pain. The anxieties and discomfort of these physical symptoms can lead to higher stress levels thus creating a vicious cycle between your mind and body.
Exercising is an effective way to break this cycle. As well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body.
Exercise and ADHD
Exercise works in a similar way to ADHD Medication. It releases higher levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain, which all affect your focus and attention. It’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD as well as improving your concentration, motivation, memory, and mood.