It isn’t fully understood how exercise can improve emotional health, but we may have some very good ideas. It is proven that on the physiological level, regular exercises can positively affect brain neurotransmitters that regulate mood. The temperature increase can also be a relief, in addition, physical activity can stimulate the endorphin production, which release tension in muscles, help you sleep better and reduce the production of stress hormone, cortisol. We often do not treat our bodies as we would to a valuable possession. If oil change is due on your Rolls Royce, you won’t just sit there and do nothing, you will go to the nearest authorized service garage. In other words, you’ll find a way to solve your problem.
Exercise may also have a series of direct and indirect benefits, emotional and psychological when you have anxiety or depression. These are benefits of exercises on your mental health:
* Confidence. By participating in physical activity, you can have a sense of achievement. You have the confidence of achieving challenges or goals, no matter how difficult they are. Exercise may also help you to feel better about your appearance, which is a good thing for your self-esteem.
* Distraction. When you have anxiety or depression, it is easy to complain on how bad we feel. But dwelling on your mental problems can affect your ability in solving problems and cope with stress in a healthy way. Dwelling may also make depression last longer and more severe. Exercise can offer a good distraction. It diverts attention from unpleasant thoughts to a feeling of peaceful or joy.
* Interactions. Depression and anxiety may encourage isolation. This, in turn, can aggravate your condition. Exercise can create ways to interact with other people, even if it’s just for exchanging greeting and smile, when you walk in the neighborhood.
* Coping in a healthy way. Doing something useful to manage anxiety or depression is a positive coping method. Trying to suppress depression by drinking alcohol, focusing on how bad you feel or hoping anxiety and depression go away by themselves are useless.
It is good thing that our body has its own drugstore. For example, the pituitary gland in the brain releases beta-endorphins, which can bind the receptors just like morphine and produces the same relaxing sensation, another chemical. Phenylethylamine (PEA) is produced during exercise and is chemically related to amphetamines. Both beta-endorphins and PEA don’t produce negative long term effects like narcotics. With proper exercise, you can flood your body with a cocktail of serotonin, PEA and beta-endorphin, which is powerful in eliminating mental problems.
Some researches have discovered that these chemicals are released every time we exercise. Apparently, that’s how our bodies reward your effort. In fact, many people have become addicted to exercise, and that’s what many athletes often describe as the “high” after an exercise.
By now, you should be convinced that exercises could be an excellent addition to your weekly activities.
On January 1 every year, many people make New Year’s resolutions that involve healthy food and exercise. To improve your chance of fulfilling the resolution, you should:
* Ask your doctor. Your therapist or physician may have excellent advice and exercise plans. Join support groups to discuss their concerns and thoughts.
* Do things naturally. Do everything that you love most, perhaps a physical activity you really enjoy in the past. If you are a people person, exercising with your buddies should be a good idea.
* Keep track of how exercise affects your life, like better mood and sleep. Congratulate yourself for each step, and use setbacks and even failures as an opportunity to think over of everything you’ve done. Always set realistic goals and try to go at your own pace.
* Rethink your motivation. Do not consider exercise as a burden, but rather think of it as a private therapy session or even a recreation.
Anaerobic exercise is intended to build fitness, improve muscle strength and/or flexibility. Examples of anaerobic activity are weightlifting, pilates and yoga.
Aerobic exercise is related to intensive and continuous physical exercises. These physical activities often end with “-ing” like skiing, running, cycling, swimming, walking, and others.
Both forms of exercises are excellent stress busters, which can also “burn” the excess energy, while anaerobic exercise relieve pain associated with muscle tension.
Beginners may think, what does exercise have to do with eliminating anxiety? They think that, between work and family, they are already stressed enough. Often, they work for long hours and have no access to an exercise equipment or gym. Eventually after several successes and failures, you may decide to adapt to your new habit whenever you can. You may take the stairs instead of elevators. You walk to work if you don’t have an urgent meeting at morning. By exercising during your daily routine, you can easily reach the goal of having thirty minutes of exercise each day. The key is to be flexible and prepare a backup plan. If the last workout was excessive, reduce it. If you’re weary with the monotony, try something else. See barriers as challenges rather than defeat.
Make exercise as something that you anticipate with excitement, for example, some people can lose weight while playing dancing games on consoles.