We know that exercise effects the body in positive ways but what do we know about its effects on your mental health?

Have you ever woken up in the morning and thought “I can’t be a***d today”? Whether that’s to make your bed, put makeup on, go to work or school or even to exercise? If you answered yes, is it just you? The answer to that question my friends is ABSOLUTELY NOT! All of us at one time or another have been through this. You are not alone!

However, when you have managed to complete that workout one day, did you regret doing it or did you finish feeling empowered and proud of yourself? The reason that you feel so good after a workout is because your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to the effects of morphine. As well as being generally good for your mental health, exercise can be helpful for dealing with specific mental health challenges.

Exercise is powerful for fighting depression, it promotes so many changes in the brain, including, neural growth, new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being, and reduced inflammation. On top of these things, exercise can be used as a good distraction, helping you take some time away from negative thoughts.

In terms of stress and Anxiety, exercise boosts physical and mental energy and relieves stress and tension in the body and mind. Since the body and mind are so closely linked when the body feels better so will your mind!

Exercise can even help with symptoms of ADHD, like concentration, motivation, memory and mood. Physical activity immediately boosts the brains dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels, ALL of which affect focus and attention. This shows that exercise works the same way as ADHD medications work.

Some of the positive effects on your mental health and wellbeing from exercise are;

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Reduced depression
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased self esteem
  • Increased mood
  • Increased confidence
  • Increased energy levels
  • Boosts brain power
  • Increased wellbeing

Please remember that everyone will work at a different level, but, ALL of us can do a little something each day to better our mental health. So next time you wake up and think “I can’t be a***d today”, remember… from the whole Shenley Leisure Centre Team, YOU’VE GOT THIS!