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The Surprising Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

6 June 2017

Over the years, you’ve likely heard the general phrase “physical activity is good for you.” The reasons why may be dependent on who you’re taking to. Whether this advice is coming from your doctor, parent or friend, there is no doubt that there are multiple benefits ranging from your heart to your feet. But did you know that working out is also good for the mind and soul? To get the best out of your workouts and increase motivation, learn some of the top mental health benefits of exercise:

REDUCES STRESS & ANXIETY

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America explains that “researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.” Studies show that physical activity can increase concentrations of norepinephrine (a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress). Aside from the chemical affect exercise has, regular workouts might help individuals prone to anxiety become less likely to panic because they often produce similar symptoms. Therefore, people who work out are less likely to associate reactions like excessive sweating and increased heart rate, with fear.

BOOSTS BRAINPOWER

Studies show that working out can boost brainpower in not just one, but multiple ways. Exercise creates new brain cells, which improves overall brain performance. Exercise also strengthens the hippocampus, which can prevent memory loss and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity increases mental energy and creativity!

INCREASES RELAXATION

According to the American Council on Exercise, exercise creates a post-exercise euphoria or endorphin response. This response improves your mood and leaves you relaxed. Just one exercise session can generate 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response.

IMPROVES MOOD

Population-based correlation studies as well as experimental studies both suggest that exercise not only enhances mood in the short-term, but also the long-term. A professor of psychology at Boston University, Michael Otto, PhD, says, “Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.” Research also shows that exercise can help treat long-term depression and even prevent relapse.

Looking to better your physical and mental health with exercise? Join Eclipse Lakefront Fitness for just $2/day or work with our certified personal trainers! Contact us to learn more by calling (972) 772-8314 or inquire online.

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