Most of us are aware of the immense physical benefits that come with exercise: enhanced weight control, reduced risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure, increased energy, and better stamina are just a few of them. But what about the mental health benefits of exercise?

From improved sleep to easing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, there’s no shortage of psychological advantages that exercise offers. Let’s take a closer look at the top five mental health benefits of physical activity.

1. Decreased stress

Reduced stress levels are directly linked to feelings of happiness and ease. Studies show that increased heart rate can reverse the effects of brain damage due to stress. Moreover, the production of neurohormones, such as norepinephrine, help with mood recovery, enhance cognition, and improve thinking.

2. Lowers depression and anxiety

Physical activity instructs the brain to release endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Depression and anxiety often force people to limit contact with people, but the irony is that it becomes even more essential to consciously take care of your mental health when you’re feeling depressed or anxious.

Exercise is a great place to start on your self-care journey.

3. Enhanced self-esteem

Exercise offers excellent physical benefits, including a trimmed waistline, toned muscles, and better skin. All of these benefits contribute directly to higher self-esteem and confidence.

Small wins, like being able to fit into clothes that were previously too small or completing a hike that seemed impossible at first, have an immensely positive effect on self-esteem.

people training and socializing in a gym

4. Better sleep

Exercise helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm (our in-built alarm clock) that regulates our sleep-wake cycles. Exercising during the first half of the day helps the body understand that it’s time to stay awake. Conversely, we feel tired toward the end of the day, which promotes better sleep.

5. Brain boost

Exercise is also known to boost several aspects of memory, cognition, and intelligence. Studies show that cardiovascular exercise increases the production of new brain-cells that prevent age-related decline.

Reap the Mental Health Benefits of Exercise Now

Even when you know that exercise will help you feel better and make you physically stronger, it can be difficult to take the first step. Many people have trouble overcoming obstacles to exercising, especially if they’re struggling with a mental health issue.

World-renowned hypnotherapist and weight loss expert Rena Greenberg has helped thousands of clients achieve their wellness goals with sustainable weight loss solutions through self-hypnosis weight loss programs.

Overcome mental roadblocks and start your mental and physical fitness journey with Rena today.