When most people commit to a fitness routine, they do so to improve their physical health. Perhaps they need to lose weight or find a natural way to lower their blood pressure or blood glucose. And while exercise definitely impacts a person’s physical health, it also significantly impacts their mental health as well!
Here are just some of the ways fitness positively impacts your mental health:
Helps to Relieve Stress
Have you heard that regular exercise is one of the best ways to beat the effects of stress? Physical activity is thought to reduce stress by reducing the levels of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. And studies have found exercise can even make us resilient to stress.
Promotes a Better Night’s Sleep
We tend to overlook how important proper sleep is for our overall mental health and well-being. While a variety of factors can impact our quality of sleep, physical activity appears to be particularly influential. It seems exercise not only helps us fall asleep faster, but helps us stay asleep longer as well.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Exercise is also thought to boost our mental clarity and improve our memory. Those who have suffered from depression, anxiety or PTSD and CPTSD know that our cognitive function can take a hit when our mental health takes a hit.
Movement vs. Exercise
Some people dislike exercise, but often feel more open to the experience of movement. Consider moving your body in ways that bring you a sense of joy and feelings of pleasure in your body. Maybe it is stretching, yoga or going for a walk. Maybe you’d feel pleasure in your body while dancing in the living room when no one is watching. Consider exploring some of these movement practices to find out what feels good in your body.
These are just some of the ways regular exercise or movement can improve your mental health. You might find after some time of doing these practices, that there are still areas of your life you’d like to work on. If this is the case, I encourage you to speak to someone about the challenges you are facing. Just as you often need a trainer to show you how to exercise properly, you may need a trainer to help you get into the best mental health of your life! I specialize in helping women learn to cope more effectively with challenges in their lives and to help them become more engage in tending to their physical health needs