Did you know that exercise can improve your mental health? Oftentimes, we focus on the physical benefits of exercise but overlook the fact that it also offers significant psychological benefits. If you’ve ever experienced that “runner’s high,” you know what we mean, and the positive mental effects of exercise have been well documented in studies. For example, James Blumenthal, a Ph.D. at Duke University, determined through a series of randomized trials that the benefits of exercise to mental health are comparable to treatment with antidepressants.
Decreased Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
When you’re struggling with depression and anxiety, exercise is probably the furthest thing from your mind. Still, studies show that even a low-impact workout can be a powerful antidepressant. It’s not that important what you do, just that you get moving.
That said, joining a gym will give you access to a wider variety of activities to choose from than you would have at home, increasing the likelihood that you’ll find something you love. Not only that, but selecting a gym that offers unique gym services such as free nutrition counseling is yet another way to improve your mental state.
Inadequate sleep has been linked to a plethora of health problems, and studies show that exercise helps people to fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and enjoy better sleep quality. The evidence is clear: Starting an exercise routine will have you getting your beauty sleep again in no time.
Improved Self Image
Not only will regular exercise and the resulting sleep improve your appearance, but the setting and accomplishing of small goals can do wonders for your self-esteem. Feeling like you can do more may also provide an ego boost. Many people who start an exercise program to lose weight quickly realize the exciting side benefit of improved endurance levels.
That new-found stamina will not only help you reach your fitness goals, but it will carry over into other activities. Anyone who has struggled with anxiety and depression knows how hard it can be to accomplish even the simplest of daily tasks, which is why increased energy is one of the greatest benefits of regular exercise.
How to Get Started
Although exercising will ultimately make you more productive, it can be difficult to get started when mental health issues have zapped your energy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when embarking on a new fitness program.
Kennedy Fitness has several locations across South Jersey. If you’re looking for information on our gym with a pool in Turnersville, NJ, or one of our other sites across South Jersey, contact us today!