Did you know that doing physical fitness can benefit more than just your physical health? Exercise helps your body release chemicals that can improve both your physical and mental health. At our Nunawading gym Element Fitness, we support healthy bodies and healthy minds with 24-hour access to our facility and recovery options such as our sauna. Check out some of the benefits of working out for mental health
Reduces Depression and Anxiety
One of the best benefits of working out for mental health is the reduction of depression and anxiety. More often than not, depression and anxiety occur as a result of chemical deficiencies in the brain. Unfortunately, the feeling of depression or anxiety makes individuals feel as though they can not participate in exercise or be active, however, that is exactly what their body needs.
Exercise is proven to increase the production of endorphins and serotonin in the body which are the chemicals responsible for improving mood and mental stability. Because people with anxiety or depression often struggle to get going by themselves, they can often find benefits in group fitness classes.
Oftentimes, when your mind is stressed, your body is tense in some way or another. As you exercise, this tension is released and your muscles will enter a state of relaxation post-workout. When your body relaxes, so does your mind. In turn, studies have found that people who exercise regularly are less stressed than those who don’t. Some people also find stress relief in taking that time to focus on something other than the stressors in your life and focusing solely on your body.
One of the most common benefits of group fitness classes and working out, in general, is an improvement in self-image and self-confidence. Many people assume that taking fitness classes will make them more self-conscious because they have to work out in front of other people. The reality is that the people that you are in class with are often at the same level as you struggling with the same things you are. As you get more comfortable working out, you will realize that your health is what matters and the more you improve that, the more you improve your personal mindset. In groups, you can build connections to find the motivation to keep going.
Your body is built to be active meaning that it craves physical release during waking hours. When you don’t get that activity, your brain does not receive the signals it needs to achieve restful sleep. Think of it like dealing with a hyper child. If you want your child to sleep at night, you tell them to play outside or let them run around to “tire them out”. The same is true with an adult body. If you have trouble sleeping, it is likely due, in part, to a lack of physical activity. Exercise helps your brain receive the signals it needs to provide a restful sleep and, in turn, have more energy during waking hours.
These are just a few of the benefits of working out for mental health. Studies suggest that physical activity can also help improve cognitive function and manage mental health conditions such as ADHD or PTSD.