You probably are aware that exercise has a plethora of benefits, among which can include lowering risk of chronic disease such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease, as well as lowering weight and making movement more comfortable in functional daily activities.
There are many other wonderful benefits that exercise has, also, on the mind. A study published back in 2006 states that “aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress. This physiologic influence is probably mediated by the communication of the HPA axis with several regions of the brain, including the limbic system, which controls motivation and mood; the amygdala, which generates fear in response to stress; and the hippocampus, which plays an important part in memory formation as well as in mood and motivation.”
So, exercise helps because we are getting greater blood flow to the brain and throughout our bodies, we are training our bodies to respond to stress better, and, it’s easier to continue moving once we start because it feels good and we get motivated by it as well.
“Other hypotheses that have been proposed to explain the beneficial effects of physical activity on mental health include distraction, self-efficacy, and social interaction.”
“Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal”
Even brisk walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes can provide wonderful benefits, including:
- Improved sleep
- Increased interest in sex
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improvement in mood
- Increased energy and stamina
- Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
- Weight reduction
- Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness
Read more of this article here! It was published titled “Exercise for Mental Health” and dives deeper into other psychological conditions. I merely wanted to reference it here for you, but if you want more info, check it out!
It’s beautiful weather out right now to begin doing just this: walking 3x/week for 30 minutes.
If you’re not already doing aerobic activity, will you start?
PS: Did you know about my curriculum that I put together to take you from wherever you are with your health, fitness, and overall wellness, to wherever you want to go? It’s a year long program that I created to truly set up sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle change for you. Want to know more? Check out the info session details on the events page of the RW site here! The session is set for next Thursday, September 14th, at 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Richmond Wellness studio. I hope to see you 🙂 RSVP by reaching out to me or do so directly on the website. Let me know if you have any questions!
For your health, fitness, and total wellness!