Physical activity doesn’t just make us stronger and healthier, it affects our emotional and mental health too.
Do you ever feel emotionally a little low and don’t really know why? Or feel mentally fatigued and like you just need a break? Many of us feel this creep in at times and some more than others. Our daily lives can get so busy with our jobs, taking care of our children, etc. that we forget to take care of ourselves. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just affect us physically, it can start to impact our mental health and happiness as well.
Why is Exercise so Important?
Getting out for a walk, going to the gym, or whatever form of exercise you find enjoyable has immense impact on our well being. Regular exercise helps:
– reduce stress and anxiety levels;
– increase energy and mood levels;
– reduce feelings of sadness and depression;
– increase self-esteem, confidence and provides a sense of general well-being;
– improves sleep;
– boost brain power;
Regular exercise promotes changes in the brain that include neural growth, reduced inflammation and promotes feelings of calm. This happens because when we are active, our body releases endorphins, which are powerful, feel-good chemicals that energize and invigorate us. There are many studies that demonstrate that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as some anti-depression medications. And for those that require medication to manage their symptoms, they may need less medication or feel better with a combination or exercise and medication.
The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, sad, anxious or generally mentally unwell, remember to take time for yourself. Self-care isn’t an indulgence, it’s a necessary part of being healthy.