Modern medicine has created somewhat of a separation between the various systems of the body. If you’re depressed, you’ll visit a psychologist. If you have diabetes, you’ll see your primary care specialist. But what happens when disorders are linked?
Our bodily systems don’t work independently of each other. On the contrary, everything is interconnected. This is obvious from how our bodies use nutrients. Mineral, likes magnesium, or vitamin C are used in various systems throughout the body.
Similarly, exercise benefits all organs, including the brain.
Here’s how keeping it can enhance your overall mental health.
When you exercise, it promotes neural growth and reduces inflammation in the brain. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are brain chemicals that are associated with positive feelings.
Do you know that great feeling you get after an intense workout? Well, when you work out every day, that feeling sticks around and can help combat depression.
It’s difficult to let your problems take center stage when you’re giving it your all just to get to the next set (or mile marker). That’s one reason why exercise is effective against anxiety, but it’s not the only one. Exercise gives the body an outlet for stress and tension. It enhances physical and mental energy and boosts overall wellbeing.
A population-based Preventative Medicine study found that people who exercise are less anxious on average than people who don’t. The ones who exercised were also less depressed and more extroverted than the non-exercisers.
To get the best anxiety-busting effects from exercise, focus on the connection between your mind and your body. Notice how it feels when your sneakers hit the pavement or patterns of your breathing.
This will give you a break from the grips of anxiety, at least while you’re exercising.
The endorphins your body releases during exercise also help combat the negative effects of stress by relaxing the muscles and relieving tension in the body.
This is why exercise is one of the best coping mechanisms in stressful times. According to data from the American Psychological Association, 62 percent of people who use exercise as a stress reliever find it effective.
A review published in Frontiers in Psychology suggests that people who engage in regular aerobic exercise are less likely to abuse drugs. Moreover, the review indicates that there’s enough evidence to support exercise-based interventions in people at-risk for developing addiction.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse, find a recovery program. Once you’re on the road to recovery, exercise may help keep you on that path.
If you’re wondering whether you should start an exercise program, the answer is yes. You should. Exercise has many benefits to the mind and body.
You can start slow and work your way up to exercising at least 30 minutes every day. And your exercise doesn’t have to be intense in order for you to reap the benefits. You can do something low-impact, like walking or swimming. The important part is that you get moving.