There are multiple articles on the internet telling you that exercise is good for your mental health. One of the most recommended ways to improve mental health is exercise and movement. But have you ever wondered why? Doctors and psychiatrists all over the world advise patients suffering from mental illnesses to exercise, join a gym, or simply go for a thirty-minute walk regularly. This article discusses the several reasons why and how exercise is good for your mental health.
How exercise improves your mental health
Your brain is an organ in the same way your heart, lungs, and muscles are organs. Organs require a specific set of nutrients to function properly, and they get these nutrients from the blood. The brain has blood vessels going throughout it the same way the other organs in your body do.
Exercise increases the efficiency of your heart and also improves the elasticity of your blood vessels. This helps in getting blood and oxygen to your brain, which in turn gets nutrients to your brain. Exercise helps your brain grow and develop. Another way exercise helps improve your mental health is by keeping the connections in your neurons strong. If the brain is exercising it keeps the neural connections strong and the pathway to the brain is kept strong by exercising the body.
Why exercise makes a difference
Neural connectivity is really important to functioning, especially as you get older. Physical activity and exercise do make a difference. It helps manage stress, which in turn improves your overall mental health.
Exercise is extremely helpful as it clears your mind and makes it focus on the physical activity instead of the clutter and noise inside your brain. Exercise enables one to have a really good and clear mental headspace. If you are taking a walk or are outdoors in nature, in the sunlight, it instantly puts you in a better mood.
You need to do it to believe it
The magical benefits of exercise are hard to believe unless you do it yourself. The hardest part of exercise is pushing yourself and getting started to do the activity. It may not feel great in the beginning as you are not used to it. But it is important to be consistent and do it for six to eight weeks before you start to feel the benefits.
A great way to help you be consistent is by identifying the exercises you enjoy doing, setting reasonable goals and sticking to them to see positive results. If you are in your 20s, you should focus on exercises that will improve your bone mineral density. Running, dancing, or martial arts are great ways to do that. If you are in your 30s and 40s, weight training is the mode of exercise that you should go for, along with cardiovascular exercises like rowing and swimming.
If you are in your 50s or over, you should focus on exercises that will help you with your balance, like water aerobics and stretching. However, it is important to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine to make sure it is safe for you.