Exercise doesn’t just make you physically fit, it also makes you mentally. This is a very underlooked benefit of exercise. Everyone knows how exercise can make your waistline smaller; make your heart healthier, etc. But, very few people know just how crucial exercising is for your mental well-being. Likewise, just as there are certain exercises that you can use to target certain parts of your body, there are certain kinds of exercises that you can use target your mental health. In this article, we are going to go over 3 of these exercises.
Aerobic exercises are designed to get your body moving and your heart pumping. A good aerobic workout will exercise a lot of different muscle groups and it will make you build-up a sweat. That last part, in particular, is also why aerobics is good for your mental health. Because aerobics encourages you to move around a lot and because it is such an intensive workout, it really gets your blood moving. When your blood circulates faster, that means that your cells are getting more oxygen. As anyone who has taken rudimentary biology can tell you, oxygen is what keeps all your cells (including the ones in your brain) healthy and functioning at peak performance. Not to mention the rush of endorphins that are proven to make you feel good!
Yoga is great for your mental health for 2 distinct reasons. Firstly, much like aerobics, yoga gets you moving. It exercises a ton of different muscles in your body and gets your blood pumping (although admittedly, not as fast as aerobics would). The second benefit of yoga is its calming, stress-reducing factor. Controlled breathing and mental relaxation are big parts of yoga and they have a very positive effect on your mental health. Things like controlled breathing reduce stress and anxiety, which is obviously very good for your mental health.
Running is great for your mental health. Many people run outdoors, and studies show that outdoor exercise alone is good for your mood. Not only does it get your blood pumping and reduce stress, it also gives you the famous “runner’s high.” A runner’s high results in a flood of endorphins being released into your body. These endorphins not only help reduce stress levels, but they also help fight off mental illnesses like depression. Just in general, endorphins make you feel energized and better about yourself.