Everyone knows that exercise is good for our bodies, but what about our minds? If you have ever gone for a run after a stressful day, chances are you felt better afterward. The link between exercise and mood is strong and it is called “the exercise effect”. It is a very effective way to improve our minds and wellbeing.
Run Yourself Mentally Healthy!
Regular exercise is a good stress reliever, boosts overall mood, improves memory, and helps you to sleep better. It has also been found that exercise can have a profoundly positive effect on anxiety, stress, ADHD, depression and negative moods and emotions. The good news is that you do not need to be a fitness fanatic. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better. Running is a very good form of exercise as you can vary the intensity, it is free and you can do it anywhere. So let’s dust off our running shoes and get our minds healthy!
Studies have found that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication, but without the side-effects. Running promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good. Finally, running can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed a negative mind.
In addition to improving your mental health, running has also been found to:
- Increase your memory and thinking ability
- Endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp.
- Increase your self esteem
- It can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful. You will feel better about your appearance and, by meeting even small exercise goals, you’ll feel a sense of achievement.
- Improve sleep
- Increase your energy levels
- Build stronger resilience
- When faced with mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help you cope in a healthy way, instead of resorting to alcohol, drugs, or other negative behaviors that ultimately only make your symptoms worse.