Why Exercise Makes You Feel Better
Every day we are overloaded with information about the benefits of exercise. Whether it’s running, cycling, yoga, lifting weights or going to classes, there are many benefits, of course. But although we are often told how exercise will help us physically, we are rarely told why exercise will also help our mental wellbeing.
In my experience, if you’re not clearly informed why something is going to help you, you’re unlikely to give it a try.
How much exercise do I need to do?
Many studies have shown that exercising for just 15 minutes can help improve your mental wellness. Again, exercising can be anything from going for a gentle stroll up to a hard session in the gym. Whatever works for you. Try not to get drawn into the rabbit hole of which kind of exercise is the best!
When exercising, always tailor the exercises to be suitable for your ability. You don’t want to hurt yourself when trying to get into a new routine.
Mental health benefits from exercise
- Increase serotonin
You may have heard that exercising increases our serotonin levels. But what does this actually mean?!
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that stabilises our mood. It is sometimes known as “the happy chemical”. So when your serotonin uptake increases, it reduces anxiety levels.
- Improve motivation
When you are being active, it can improve your motivation. You are busy. You are doing something. And when you are more motivated, this will positively impact your mood and generally how you function.
- Disrupt negative patterns
This isn’t discussed as much as it should be. If we feel low and demotivated, getting up and about and exercising can disrupt these negative patterns. Even a quick, brisk walk can stop you from getting stuck in a negative spiral.
Next time you are out there getting fit, remember you are not just exercising for your physical fitness. You are chemically helping your brain. You are improving your motivation. You are interrupting and disturbing negative patterns.
So, there you have it – three scientific reasons that link a healthier body with a healthier mind.
If you would like to explore more healthy habits for your mental wellbeing, please check out my books Ten to Zen and Ten Times Happier.
Take care, look after yourselves and I’ll speak to you soon.