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How exercise benefits your mental health

We all know that exercise is good for us, whether we are doing it or not, we know it's great for our hearts, lungs, keeping us strong etc etc.. However what we may not know or what we may know but often forget, is that exercise is great for our mental health too. Right now a lot of people may need to keep that in check, being stuck indoors may be bothering you, may be getting you down or you may be increasingly stressed about the current circumstances.

It can greatly benefit your mood if you add some exercise into your day. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve your sleep (as it helps regulate your circadian rhythm - your body's in built alarm clock), it can have a positive effect on depression and generally give your mood a boost. Not only that but research is showing that physical activity can help prevent memory loss and protect us from dementia risk factors.

Exercising releases your feel good hormones (those endorphins) making you feel more positive and full of energy. It can also help with stress management as the more your fitness improves, the lower the release of cortisol (often known as the stress hormone) will be and your body can begin to deal with stress better.

If you set some goals that you want to achieve and you keep up with your motivation, you will also improve your self esteem when you start to realise your goals! Your confidence will soar!

People often feel lethargic or tired and think "oh I'm just too tired to work out today, I just need to rest" and then sit back on the sofa. However we need to spin this on it's head because exercise will not make you more lethargic! It will give you renewed energy, renewed strength and reinvigorate you!

So if you're feeling low, or if you feel like hiding under the covers, think twice, remind yourself that at the end of the workout you'll feel awesome and can take on anything and get those exercise clothes on!

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