Did you know that exercise has well-known physical benefits such as cardiovascular fitness and bone health improvements? Yes I am sure you are aware of those. What about the psychological benefits of exercise? You might know a thing or two about the physical benefits but the psychological ones are equally important.
Experts say that regular exercise may help with everything from boosting your mood to improving your sleep schedule. Given this modern day and age where people often get too pre-occupied with work, the time left in a day for exercise has clearly diminished. However, bearing in mind the 4 psychological benefits listed below could help spur you on towards hitting the gym a little more frequently.
1. It lifts your mood
Mental health is a very important component of overall health especially with the enormous amount of stress experienced by both working adults and students. Several recent studies have shown that, whether you lift weights or go for a run, working out can help reduce anxiety and improve overall mental health. The American Psychological Association (APA) has also said that exercising can help make you feel happier — and in some cases the results can be felt pretty quickly. In fact, “one could feel some sort of mood enhancement five minutes after moderate intensity exercises such as a 30-min run in the park”, as suggested by Boston University psychology professor Michael Otto.
2. It reduces stress.
Stress is something that all of us have had a personal encounter with before. It resides within our world today and it is unavoidable. Fortunately, exercise can help reduce overall stress levels, as well as improve your ability to cope with and respond to mentally taxing situations. Stress hits hard on the central nervous system, initiating the stress response that we have all experienced before. However, “exercise may be a way of biologically toughening up the brain so stress has less of a central impact,” said Otto.
3. It boosts your confidence.
With exercise, our outward appearance changes for the better. There is undoubtedly a strong association between how we look and how we feel. It is a known fact — when you look good, you naturally feel good. And whether it is lifting weights or going for a run, exercising is definitely a full-proof method of making one look good and thus feel good.
4. It helps you sleep.
Everyone knows that more sleep means more energy throughout the day. A bad sleep can ruin your productivity and might be a cause of self-invite to your boss’s office for some nagging.
A recent study on exercise benefits found that those who worked out intensely in the evenings slept better than their peers who didn’t work out or who worked out less intensely. The ones who exercised more vigorously also tended to fall asleep faster, wake up fewer times throughout the night, and sleep more deeply than those who exercised less vigorously.
Adapted from http://www.businessinsider.com.au/psychological-benefits-of-exercise-2015-6