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Exercise For Your Mental Health

Common excuses for not exercising we see are ‘I’m too stressed’, ‘I have too much going on’ and the list goes on.
Exercise Multicolumn 01
Exercise Multicolumn 01

By Ruby McMullen, Personal Trainer at Mona Vale

Common excuses for not exercising we see are ‘I’m too stressed’, ‘I have too much going on’, ‘I’ve had a crazy day’, ‘I am really low energy today’ and the list goes on. We get it when you are feeling stressed or time poor the last thing you probably want to do is exercise. Sitting on the couch with a movie is much more tempting but what if we tell you exercise has been shown to dramatically improve mental health.

Exercise releases endorphins which are chemicals that relieve pain, reduce stress and improve your sense of well-being. People who exercise regularly have lower rates of mental illness and better emotional wellbeing. Why is this? Well, there are a number of reasons exercise contributes to overall mental wellbeing.

Sleep: Exercise has been proven to improve sleep quality and duration. Healthy amounts of sleep have been associated with improved mood, improved productivity and heightened satisfaction with life in general. Sleep is a crucial part of our overall health therefore physical activity improving sleep is reason enough to ensure you are prioritising it into your daily routine.

Reduced Stress: Exercise reduces stress by reducing stress related hormones. Exercise doesn’t help just handle stress but helps prevent it in the first place. As well as releasing endorphins, exercise actually reduces muscle tension and when your body feels better, so will your mind.

Improved Concentration: Research has shown regular physical activity can boost mental clarity, concentration, attention span and memory. Exercise pumps blood to the brain which helps us think clearly. It also increases the connection between nerve cells in the brain which improves memory.

Increased self-esteem and sense of control: People who exercise regularly have reported how good having a goal and achieving it makes them feel.

Reduced Anxiety and Depression: Regular exercise has been proven to manage symptoms of depression with the main benefits being higher self-esteem and less negative thoughts.

If exercise is not in your weekly routine a few times a week, we highly recommend you add it in for the physical and mental benefits. Whether it’s a daily walk and 2 weight sessions with a trainer, that is all you need to start seeing and feeling changes.

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