Girls, we want to remind you that exercising is about so much more than just looking after your physical health. It’s about taking care of your mental health too. Because your mind matters, always.
It’s a well known fact that working out can improve your physical wellbeing, however, the benefits of exercise on mental health are often overlooked.
Which is why we’re here to discuss exactly how keeping active can play an important role in your mental wellbeing and even help relieve symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. After all, looking after your head is just as important as looking after your heart.
HOW DOES EXERCISE HELP MENTAL HEALTH?
ANXIETY & STRESS
Research shows that exercise can reduce levels of anxiety and relieve feelings of stress through the release of endorphins.
When events occur that make us feel threatened, our body creates a stress response, which can trigger unpleasant symptoms, such as sweating, sleep problems and a loss of appetite. This can in turn cause more stress, creating a vicious cycle between your body and mind.
Exercising is a great way to break this cycle, as well as relax tension in the body. Because the body and mind are so well connected, when your body feels better, your mind does too.
Different forms of exercise have been shown to reduce the severity of depression and are thought to be as effective as other treatments, including medication. However, we want to remind you that you should never stop taking any medication without consulting your GP first.
Keeping active promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including reduced inflammation and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm. Exercise can also provide a distraction to allow your mind to relax and focus on the present.
We always want you to feel your best, ladies, and one of the best ways to improve your body confidence is, in fact, exercising.
Regular activity serves as an investment in your mind, body and soul and when it becomes a habit, it can have a positive impact on your self-esteem and how you perceive your self-worth. It can make you feel strong and powerful, as well as help you maintain a healthy glow and smile. On top of that, when you achieve your goals - be it big or small - you’ll feel a sense of achievement. It’s a win-win all round!
When you exercise, your body releases a chemical called endorphins which gives your mood a natural boost. All the more reason to get up and go, right ladies?
One study has even shown that participants felt more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active compared to after periods of inactivity. *Immediately heads for the gym.*
OTHER BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
As we’ve already proved, there are plenty of ways that exercise can positively impact your mental wellbeing. It can also help improve:
Your memory and thinking: In addition to boosting your mood, endorphins can also help you concentrate better. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells, so your mind stays healthy and active for longer.
Sleep: Short bursts of exercise in the morning or afternoon can help regulate your sleep patterns. If you’re more of a night owl, gentle stretching or yoga-related exercises can help improve sleep.
- Energy levels: Getting your heart racing several times a week will help you feel more energised, which will allow you to up your workout game.
If you’re struggling with your mental wellbeing, girls, you’re not alone. Not only are we always here for you, there are a number of services out there to provide you with the right support for you. These include: your local GP, mental health charity, Mind, and Samaritans.
Don’t let your mental health take a back seat, treat it with the same love and respect as the rest of you.