Are you feeling mentally sluggish after months of self-isolating? Are you seeking ways to feel inspired again?
Believe it or not, exercise is an incredible way to feel your best quickly!
While exercise is known primarily for its cardiovascular, strength, and bone density benefits, it is also an excellent tool for healthy mood balance.
Here are seven ways exercising benefits mood:
1. Social Appeal
There is a social aspect to exercising at a facility. Whether you work out alone, in a group class, or with a partner, you are always surrounded by people. There is a sense of comradery going on in the room. When you arein an environment with self-motivated individuals working towards their goals, it will immediately boost your motivation to work harder. Working alongside individuals with similar goals leads to a sense of social connection, which does wonders for your overall mood.
2. Feel-Good Chemicals
During exercise, the body releases chemicals associated with mood such as adrenaline, dopamine, noradrenalin, and endorphins. You get a natural full-body high every single time you exercise. The best part about this chemical surge is that it tends to last for hours after training. Which means it carries into your day brightening your mood where ever you go.
Exercise promotes something health practitioners call mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of being completely focused on the task at hand. Also, entirely focusing on the connectivity into your body reinforces neuromuscular adaptations with your sport or exercise. Mindfulness also helps to clear the brain of residual thoughts, your daytime concerns, and worries. Think of mindfulness as a form of active meditation.
4. Nervous System Stimulation
Do you dread leg training day? Leg training has numerous benefits that go well beyond this article (blood sugar balance, healthy metabolism, sports performance, etc.). But did you also know leg training can boost mood? A heavy leg training session is the quickest way to fire up the central nervous system. The nervous system is connected right into, you guessed it, the brain!!! When the nervous system is activated, you will also feel mentally activated for the day. Imagine, greater creativity and elevated mood in the hours following a leg workout. Leg workouts are best early in the day to reap all the benefits.
5. Exercise Reinforces Healthy Dietary Structure
This sounds like a trick, right? Most people don’t want to feel lethargic when they train and will automatically adjust their diet to feel more energized during exercise. A healthier diet means more home-cooked meals, lean proteins, steamed vegetables, nuts and seeds, berries, etc. Guess what all of these foods alsoprovide?They are rich in the cofactors and amino acids necessary for healthy neurotransmitter levels. Eating the right foods to support your exercise will both directly and indirectly, reinforce a healthy mood and outlook.
6. Health Routine
Consistency is vital in the game of health. Building an exercise routine that you can stick with builds your confidence to maintain your commitments to your goals for the long term. Incorporating a constant effort towards your health routine carries over into confidence in other aspects of your life. When you feel good about taking care of yourself regularly, it shows. Others who desire to become healthier will be attracted to your presence, and this means more friendships and more connections.
7. Being a Model of Success
When you accomplish your goals to exercise regularly, others will look up to you as a source of inspiration. Feeling proud of your accomplishments is another huge reward from this whole experience.
You now have seven reasons to get your butt off the couch and get started now!
Naomi Sachs, B.Sc., A.C.H.N., PFT
Fully-certified since 2015, Naomi has been successfully coaching clients throughout North America and facilitating their self-growth in the nutrition and fitness realm. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of health strategies available, her services aim to introduce clarity and self-motivation.