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Decoding the mental health benefits of exercise

While exercise being good for the body is widely acknowledged – be it maintaining body weight or building muscles and reducing fat – the benefits that exercising can deliver for mental health is often overlooked.

Earlier this year, Japanese professional tennis player Naomi Osaka halted attending press conferences saying she gets “huge waves of anxiety” before speaking to the media.

More recently at the Tokyo Olympics, American artistic gymnast Simone Biles backed out from the competition to savour her mental health.

In the unprecedented times that we are currently living in, COVID-19 has triggered more mental stress than ever before. When it comes to finding solutions for this issue, there is a need to talk about the mental health benefits of exercising. To reiterate emphasis on the same, exercise is even used as a tool to treat many mental illnesses.

Decoding the mental health benefits of exercise:

Stress reduction: Mental stress builds tension in muscles, so when one exercises, they release that excessive energy stored in their muscles. The body feels more relaxed, flexible, and easy-going.

Releases frustration: One might feel frustrated and exhausted from things around them. They might burst out at the end of the day. So, rather than showing their anger to people, they can release their frustration in a much better way: through exercising. The physical release of negative energy will make one feel better, and their tolerance level would increase.

Enhances concentration and productivity: With regular exercising, one becomes capable of maintaining their good mental state. Thus, with less stress and frustration, they can focus on their work more easily and increase their daily productivity.

Nuanced sleep: Several studies have suggested that daily workouts help in sound sleep. It is pretty logical; if one works out daily, burns a good number of calories, at the end of the day, they’d be tired, and thus, would be able to have a sound goodnight sleep.

Boosts self-esteem: People at times might feel under confident about their bodies. Although all bodies are beautiful, maintaining the desired weight is always better, both physically and mentally. So, a person who works out daily would feel fitter and would have better self-esteem.

Puts life in order: Exercising helps in maintaining a schedule. If one is having a lethargic life, especially during the corona times, exercising helps in putting life back in order. In addition, scheduling helps in giving the mind peace.

Fights lethargy: The pandemic is taking a huge toll on the mental and social life of people globally. With the new work from home culture and online deliveries of almost everything, people are hardly stepping out. Because of which unhealthy habits like staying in bed all day, not doing many body movements, etc develop easily. Thus, exercising is an excellent way of pushing back lethargy and makes people more involved and positive in life.

These times are harsh. COVID-19 is making life monotonous, boring, and fearful. Thus, through exercising, people can get rid of those negative emotions and move towards positivity. Exercising has manifold benefits on mental health. And, in today’s modern world, where mental illness cases are rising like anything, it is highly recommended to include at least 20 minutes of exercise time in the daily scheduling.

Check out our virtual workout library here and get the benefits of exercising today for your mental and physical health.

Originally posted by Ausleisure, Decoding the benefits of exercise, Kunal Sawheny, 2021