Exercise pumps blood to your brain, helping you feel more alert and energised, and changing the production of certain chemicals and hormones – particularly those “happy hormones”, endorphins and serotonin. But exactly how does exercise improve and support emotional and mental health? Let’s find out!
1.Reduces stress, and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown people who exercise regularly have better emotional and mental health, and lower rates of mental illness. Plus, regular workouts have been shown to improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression, among other mental illnesses, and improve mood regulation.
We’ve all experienced the stress-relieving benefits of exercise… After a hard day of work, there’s just no better feeling than sweating it out. You leave feeling lighter and relieved every single time. If that’s not proof of the potential for exercise to support better mental health and reduce stress, we don’t know what is!
Even more, exercise has been proven to improve sleep quality. We know good sleep helps you regulate your mood, and supports better mental health and cognitive function. So you’re doubling down on the benefits!
2. Produces feel-good hormones and chemicals in the brain.
You’re probably aware of the ability of exercise to produce endorphins. But what are endorphins, and why are they so great?
Exercise produces several feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, like endorphins and serotonin, which improve your mood and boost feelings of happiness. While endorphins are literally considered a natural “pain killer” by scientists, this hormone leaves you feeling euphoric and accomplished. While serotonin is the key hormone responsible for stabilising mood, feelings of wellbeing, and happiness.
If exercise increases the production of these two happy hormones, it’s a no-brainer that it’s excellent for your happiness, mental health, and state of mind!
3. Improves self-esteem and body image.
Working out regularly has also been proven to improve self-esteem and body image, further contributing to improved mental health.
Of course, there’s the obvious boost to your ego you get from looking and feeling your best when you stick to a consistent fitness routine, but it’s also deeper than that. The feeling of accomplishment you achieve from making it through a gruelling workout, beating your own reps or weight targets, or even just sticking to a consistent routine, causes improved self-esteem and confidence.
It’s a double yes from us!
4. Chance for connection and socialising.
Exercise gives you the chance to get outside (particularly right now!) and connect with others – especially if you’re sweating it out in a group class! This reduces feelings of loneliness, isolation and social withdrawal, and helps you form connections with others – further supporting improved mental health and happiness levels!
As you can see, exercise is critical for supporting mood, emotional and mental wellbeing, and even improving how you feel about yourself and your body! Particularly in times like this, when we can feel isolated or “stuck”, it’s important to maintain a consistent fitness routine. This will allow you to keep experiencing the benefits of the “feel-good” hormones released during exercise, and boosting your own happiness and social connections.
Now you know how important exercise is to your mental health and happiness, book into one of our park sessions this week! We’ve got HIIT, Pilates, Sweat and Yoga sessions on offer, so come and make the most of the sunshine with us! It also gives you the chance to connect with others, release those happy hormones, and get some fresh air!