We often hear about the health benefits of regular exercise. Exercise can keep your body healthy and energetic, from maintaining a healthy weight to reducing cancer risk. How about your mental health? When it comes to the mental health benefits of exercise, the list goes on. Let’s discuss the top seven reasons you should start exercising for your mental health.
#1. Relieve Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Exercise is known to induce positive reactions in the brain. Elevating your heart rate releases dopamine, making you feel more positive and reducing irritability, anxiety, and depression. Physical activity increases endorphin levels. Endorphins are the body’s favorite “feel-good chemicals” produced by the brain and generate euphoria and elation. Even moderate exercise per week can significantly improve depression and anxiety. Some doctors even recommend trying an exercise program before starting medication.
#2. Reduce Stress Levels
Have you ever noticed how your body feels when you’re stressed? Muscle tension caused by stress can lead to back and neck pain or throbbing headaches. There’s a possibility you may even feel a tightness in your chest or muscle spasms. Problems such as insomnia, heartburn, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and frequent urination can also occur.
The worry and discomfort of all these physical symptoms can add to your stress and create a vicious cycle between your mind and body. Exercise is an effective way to break this cycle. In addition to releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps relax muscles and relieve built-up tension in the body.
#3. Get Better Sleep
Even a short morning or afternoon exercise can help regulate sleep patterns. If you want to work out after hours or later at night, relaxing exercises like yoga and light stretching will help you fall asleep faster and for longer.
Exercise helps regulate your circadian rhythm. This alarm clock is built into our body that controls when we wake up and begin to feel tired. Despite being used to help improve sleep quality, many experts recommend not exercising close to bedtime.
#4. Build Your Self Esteem
Regular exercise is an investment in your body, mind, and soul. It boosts your self-esteem and builds strength, power, and confidence when it becomes a habit. You’ll feel better, reach your exercise goals, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
The physical benefits of regular exercise are endless, from increased endurance to weight loss and muscle tone. All of these achievements can lead to significantly higher self-esteem and the confidence that comes with it.
#5. Relieve PTSD/Trauma-Related Pain
By focusing on your body and how it feels while exercising, you can aid your nervous system and get out of the immobilized stress response that characterizes PTSD and trauma. Instead of letting your mind wander, pay close attention to the physical sensations in your joints and muscles as your body moves.
Exercises that involve crossing movements using both arms and legs, such as walking (especially in the sand), running, swimming, weight training, and dancing, are among the best options. Outdoor activities such as hiking, sailing, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing (downhill and cross-country) have also been shown to reduce symptoms of PTSD.
#6. Strengthen Concentration and Memory
The same endorphins that make you feel good also help you focus on the task and keep you mentally sharp. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and discourages age-related decline.
Regular exercise is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce ADHD symptoms and improve focus, motivation, memory, and mood. Physical activity instantly raises dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain, affecting focus and attention.
#7. Feel Energized and Refreshed
Getting your heart rate up a few times a week can help build momentum. Start exercising for a few minutes a day and increase when you feel more energetic. As you keep building your stamina, you’ll notice your energy increasing. This encourages you to engage in physical fitness regularly.
After creating a healthy exercise routine, you’ll soon find yourself more energized, ready to handle daily stressors, and refreshed.
How Avalon Malibu Integrates Physical Strength
As you begin your recovery at Avalon Malibu, you may come to us exhausted and broken. To help you overcome many of your fears, we offer personalized treatments focused solely on your needs and provide constant support throughout your time with us. One of the essential components of recovery is the ability to acquire a new sense of self. This can be achieved with many of the holistic modalities we use, including exercise.
Physical fitness has proven to be an essential starting point for many. This is because you can make immediate changes during therapy and increase your strength and endurance. When your body is busy, your mind and soul will quickly follow suit as the transition to a healthier lifestyle begins.
The positive mental clarity that comes with regular exercise is critical to your recovery and your ability to stay sober for life. With the help of Avalon Malibu, you can achieve it. Recovery from addiction and mental illness can be intimidating, but fitness programs and routines can help you get started. Creating a healthy lifestyle plan can help you take the first steps toward a life of recovery and sobriety. Making the transition can be challenging at first, and if you’ve gone years without activity, it can be difficult to increase your activity level. However, the training that comes with exercise also strengthens you emotionally and physically. We start by outlining an individual treatment plan and then gradually introducing basic exercises as you continue treatment. If you would like more information about any of our fitness programs or other treatments at Avalon Malibu, please call us at (844) 857-5992.