When it comes to fitness, everyone is aware of its numerous physical health benefits, which includes helping to reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In actual fact, mental health goes hand in hand with physical fitness. Regular exercise not only improves your physical health, but also helps to elevate your mood.
Being a natural and effective mood booster, people who exercise regularly are more likely to enjoy better mental health and emotional wellbeing, as well as lower rates of mental illness. The best part is, exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or take a long time to reap its wellness benefits!
How to Start an Exercise Plan
An ideal exercise plan is unique to each individual and should be something that you will stick to long-term. Here are some points to take note of when creating your exercise plan:
- Choose an activity that you enjoy and suits your personality. If you enjoy team sports, join a basketball or football team. If solo workouts are your thing, try yoga classes or go to the gym.
- Start small. For example, when starting out, brisk walk for a mile instead of attempting a 5-mile run.
- Schedule outdoor activities to enjoy fresh air and sunlight, which has added benefits to your mental well-being.
The Importance of Exercise for Mental Health
No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to optimize your well-being, improve your outlook, and get more out of life.
Here are 8 wellness benefits you’ll get to enjoy from exercising regularly:
1. Reduces anxiety and stress
Some people notice an improvement in their mood immediately after a workout. That’s because exercise increases the brain’s production of endorphins, “feel-good” chemicals produced by the nervous system that act as a pain reliever and happiness booster.
2. Improves self-confidence
One of the biggest rewards of exercise is that you are able to feel a sense of achievement after accomplishing your goals. Whether it is setting a new personal best or getting a toned body, exercise can boost your self-esteem and generate confidence in yourself.
3. Enhances cognitive ability
There are several ways in which exercise is good for the brain. First, exercise triggers the release of hormones that facilitate the growth of brain cells. Furthermore, increased oxygen intake helps to improve memory by increasing the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory.
4. Increases creativity
A 2013 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that engaging in about 30 minutes of exercise is enough to increase your creativity, with the effects lasting for about 2 hours post-workout. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that people have successfully overcome mental blocks by using bodily movements.
5. Encourages better sleep quality
The more active you are, the more your body pushes you to sleep at night. Beyond this obvious reason, aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, and swimming, boosts the production of serotonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.
6. Promotes social connectedness
Being social lightens your mood and promotes a sense of belonging. Exercise opens the door to meeting new people with similar interests and having fun while keeping fit.
7. Sharpens focus
When you engage in any form of physical activity, it leads to more blood flowing through the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen, which makes our brain perform better. Physical activity also boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention.
8. Boosts energy levels
The rush of hormones from an intense exercise session is a significant energy booster that helps you to fight through fatigue and stay alert. Any physical activity that gets the heart rate up and blood flowing through the body is likely to raise your energy levels.
Recommended Sunrider® Products for Your Wellness Journey
When you lead an active lifestyle, every day feels like an adventure. Complement your journey with Sunrider’s innovative herbal products that is specially formulated to help you stay sharp, so you can live every day to your fullest!
Top® is ideal for anyone who needs a boost in mental clarity and focus while at work, school or in everyday life. Brain-boosting herbs like angelica root, honeysuckle flower, and yeuan wu root keep you at your best to perform at the top of your game, naturally.
Helping to balance mood, stress, and fatigue, Joi®’s unique herbal formula aids in elevating your mood to ease tension and fatigue, while enhancing your energy and well-being. Siberian ginseng promotes mental clarity and sustained energy, dong quai supports healthy circulation, and white willow bark alleviates pain.
Ese® is gently formulated to help soothe anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness, so you feel calm, rested, rejuvenated, and ready to be at your best. Valerian root alleviates tension, muscle spasms, and congestion while antioxidant-rich gou teng and sophora japonica support immunity.
Exercise Plays a Key Role in Mental Health
When you are used to a sedentary lifestyle, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do.
But once you get started, you may feel your mood begin to improve immediately and experience a euphoric feeling right after you exercise. This is especially so if you’re engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity. Over time, these positive effects should continue to build, as soon as six weeks after starting regular exercise.
Remember, everyone has different interests, so choose an activity that you will be able to do consistently. The key is to do what is most enjoyable for YOU. You got this!
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