Transforming your thoughts to be more clear, focused, and positive is a life long process. One of the easiest things to change, but something that I believe has the greatest impact on your life, is your exercise habits. Here are just some of the ways exercise has been shown to improve mental health:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- People feel better after working out. It is a great way to clear your mind after a stressful work day and regulate your body’s reaction to anxiety.
- Increase confidence and self-image.
- Periodic measurements will show how your hard work is paying off and give you a sense of accomplishment while improving how you see yourself.
- Treatment for depression and addiction
- Some studies have shown exercise to be a more effective treatment for depression than medication and therapy. We’ve all read about the “happy hormone” endorphin that is released during exercise, but your body also releases other hormones (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine) that help you to feel pleasure and stabilize your mood.
- Improve brain function and prevent cognitive decline
- Perhaps the most amazing benefit of exercise is reflected in the studies involving exercise and brain function. These studies suggest that regular exercise improves memory, creativity, and intelligence and can even cause new growth in areas of your brain that tend to deteriorate over time. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, exercise can help to slow its progress more than any drug.
While any form of exercise can provide these benefits, we will work together to maximize the effort-to-reward relationship. Personal training sessions will challenge both body and mind and a shared commitment to your health will provide better results than working out on your own.
Here are some links to learn more about how exercise benefits your mental health:
American Psychological Association – “The Exercise Effect”
Harvard Health – “Exercise and Depression”
Journal of Applied Physiology – “Exercise, brain, and cognition across the life span”
National Institute of Health – “The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed”
Psychology Today – “Move to Boost Mood”
Meditating can have a significant effect on your life by keeping you in the present moment and allowing you to process and let go of negativity. I hope to start a monthly meditation class for my clients in the near future. Let me know if you’re interested in joining us!