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The mental health benefits of exercise
Exercise can be incredibly beneficial for the body, but it’s also great for the mind. So what are you waiting for? Get moving! Your ability to think clearly and helping to improve your memory skills. Wearing yourself out with physical activity is bound to help you sleep better at night. This can lead to a number of health benefits for both the body and the mind, and everyone knows how a good night’s sleep can enhance your mood!
We all know the feeling – that buzzy, warm glow we get after exercise. Whether it’s a gentle jog, playing footy with the kids or lifting a personal best, exercising makes us feel good. But it isn’t just the smug satisfaction of knowing we’ve been active for the day (although this is pretty nice too) – there’s a scientific reason why moving our bodies makes us happy. It all comes down to processes in the brain. According to the Australian Medical Association, exercising releases neurotransmitters into the brain called endorphins and serotonin. These chemicals have mood-boosting properties that leave you with the so-called ‘runners’ high’. Endorphins help to encourage positive feelings and can provide relief from conditions like anxiety for hours after exercise is over.
Exercising for the brain
Endorphins aren’t the only reason why exercise is great for the mind. According to Health Direct, a raised heart rate during exercise pumps more blood to your brain, increasing.
Exercising for you
Keeping fit and active is an important part of building and nurturing self esteem. The process of training and seeing improvement in skills or changes to your physique is hugely beneficial for confidence, not to mention the mood-boosting properties of being outdoors in nature or spending time with friends playing social sports.
How much exercise should I be doing
Health Direct suggests a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise every day. You can make up 30 minutes over the day by combining shorter 10-15 minute sessions.
Here are some ideas to get you started
- try a brisk walk to the shops
- rather than taking the bus to join a social sports team after work
- hit the pool for some laps
- instead of meeting a friend for coffee, go for a walk in the park
It’s important to find the type of exercise that suits your preferences and lifestyle – that way you’re far more likely to keep it up.
Article originally published by Health Direct, May 2019.