Updated: Mar 29, 2022
Mental health awareness has become very abundant since the start of the pandemic. However, the research regarding mental health and exercise has been around much longer than the beginning of Covid-19. Nobody wants to have extra anxiety, stress, decreased sleep, or other stress related reactions. So then why are so many people turning to medication, alcohol, or other unhealthy behaviors instead of using a simple and basic tool that can get you feeling better while spending little to no money at all???
The tool I’m referring to is exercise, which is proven to be one of the more beneficial, natural first steps you can take in mitigating any stress and mental health issues. In today's blog post, we will go into the mental health benefits of incorporating any sort of exercise into your routine.
Before we get into it, I will put in this one caveat: the exercises I am talking about does not have to be anything intense or sport specific; it can be very simple and easy (especially at first) and you can increase the duration and intensity as you see fit.
Benefits of Exercise
Helps Improve the Release of and Increases Levels of "Happy Hormones"
Exercise is associated with the introduction and improvement of overall levels of happy hormones. Crucial to mental health, lack of these hormones can lead to low motivation, depression, and low energy. The hormones associated with the natural "happy drugs" include serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine.
If you are familiar with these names, you might be aware that they are associated with other systems in the body like movement itself for dopamine (pleasure or feeling good about oneself), serotonin (gut health), and oxytocin (feeling of being in love). Higher levels of these will help to benefit your health overall.