Exercise has great benefits for your physical health - it can strengthen your muscles, improve your cardiovascular system, and reduce your risk of diseases like stroke and diabetes. But did you know that exercise can have benefits for your mental health too?
Why exercise lifts your mood
Exercise causes your brain to release chemicals including endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals all work together to make you feel good. In addition to the chemical changes in your brain, exercising can lead to a feeling of accomplishment and relaxation of your muscles, also helping you feel good.
Exercise and depression
Exercise on its own is not a cure for depression, but research has shown it can be as effective as medication for mild to moderate depression. In fact, the most commonly prescribed antidepressants are SSRIs, which work by increasing the amount of serotonin in your system. As exercise also increases the amount of serotonin in your system, its effect on depression shouldn’t be a surprise.
Make time for yourself
Many people believe they are too busy for exercise. Being too busy for something just means that you’re prioritizing something else above it. By placing exercise high on your priority list, you’re prioritizing yourself. This is a great way to help boost your mood and your confidence because you’re making time for yourself. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup! You should be practicing self-care as a way to make sure you have the mental capacity and energy to take care of those around you.
Choose a physical activity you enjoy
While any physical activity will help release endorphins and serotonin, choosing something you enjoy can help boost your mood even further. It can also help you to establish a consistent routine, ultimately benefiting your mental health.
What if exercise is painful?
It can be especially difficult for your mental health if exercise is painful. Don't let your pain keep you from the activities you love! Contact Performance Physical Therapy at 401.726.7100 to schedule an appointment so you can get back to your life