We know that regular exercise is essential to maintaining good physical health. It keeps our weight down, strengthens our muscles and joints and lowers our risk of developing diseases in our organs. But have you ever noticed the effect that a good workout can have on your mental health?
The world that we live in is a busy, chaotic one. We are constantly bombarded with images and messaging that seem to tell us how great everyone else is doing in life and there is a constant pressure to keep up with them all. It’s no wonder that sometimes the voices in your head can become very loud and incredibly vicious when we don’t succeed. After all, we are our own worst critics.
Physical exercise can also work its magic on our mental health and there is a lot of science to back this up. Here are just some of the ways that exercise is beneficial for your mental health:
An endorphin high
During exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins create a positive feeling throughout your body when they interact with your brain. They can even reduce pain perception, which is why some have likened their effects to that of morphine. Endorphins are the ultimate natural stress-busters.
An energy boost
When your mental health isn’t good, the simplest of tasks can feel monumental because of a distinct lack of energy. A low mindset equals low activity. However, if you do manage to find it in you to even just go for a gentle walk, your natural energy levels are boosted. The energy is inside you. It’s just waiting for you to use it.
You did it!
Completing a workout, especially one where you really pushed yourself, feels amazing. We know that working up a sweat and reaching a personal goal in the process is a massive achievement. If you’ve been feeling sad or anxious, smashing a small goal will feel like you’ve conquered Everest. Although it may be exhausting to think about, it will be a huge self-esteem elevator once you’re done!
Fitness freaks sleep really well
When we don’t get enough sleep, we can become irritable and run-down. Conditions like anxiety and PTSD often come with racing thoughts and traumatic flashbacks, which can make switching off near impossible. If you’re having trouble sleeping, exercise is a great way to really tire yourself out. If your body has shed its energy for the day, hopefully your mind will follow. Meditation and mindfulness techniques can also help ease a busy mind into a quieter place.
Give your mind a focus
Having any kind of goal allows the mind to sharpen its vision and have a clear goal in mind. A lot of mental health conditions fog the brain and make it difficult to concentrate on anything. Making a plan to get your body into shape with clear goals will help clear some of the mist in your mind, allowing you some distraction from your troubles for at least part of the day.
The body and the mind are intricately connected and we know that a problem in either of them can have a huge effect on each other. Some people argue that we shouldn’t even talk about physical health and mental health as separate things because in fact, there is just ‘health’. At Create PT, we know that treating your body to the benefits of exercise can work wonders on an anxious or depressed mind. You just need to find it in yourself to realise that you deserve to experience those wonders!
Mental Health Awareness Course
At Create PT we offer a Mental Health Awareness course that aims to increase awareness of mental health, including what it is, how it can change and how common mental health ill health is and to reduce stigma and discrimination. In addition to this, the qualification also equips you with the basic skills to carry out the procedures of mental health first aid and be able to respond appropriately when others are experiencing a mental health crisis.
It is £99 and can be completed entirely online. You can find more info here.