People swear by the physical benefits of working out,
but very few know that proper exercise is essential for mental development as well. Let us take a look at how working out can bolster mental health.
1. Improved Cognitive Functions
Exercise boosts the production of beneficial hormones, which encourage the growth of neural pathways and grey matter. The improved blood and oxygen flow to the brain keeps it nourished and promotes proper blood vessels functioning. Studies conducted by the Psychology department in the University of Illinois have shown that adults between the ages of 18-24 years respond faster to stimuli after a 30-minute cardio-workout.
2. Improved Creativity
Regular workouts are proven to get your creative juices flowing. Studies have shown that improved stamina and muscular flexibility leads to better problem-solving and creative abilities. With exercising, the right hemisphere of the brain, associated with creativity and imagination, receives nourishment through improved blood circulation. Exercises done in repetition are extremely good for cerebral development. As these activities require less of conscious efforts and more of mechanized movements, they provide the brain with sufficient rest.
Stress is as much a staple in contemporary living as food or drink. While it is impossible to free yourself from stressful situations, you can surely temper down its physical side effects to promote mental health. Studies have shown that exercising regularly keeps the stress levels in check and helps dissipate the influx of hormones, thereby providing a relaxing effect. The fitter you are, the more you can ably handle stress. Physical fitness allows you to cope with unexpected challenges in a much better way than unfit people can cope with them. Workouts like yoga, Pilates and aerobics are excellent exercises to reduce stress.
4. Stabilized Mood
Exercising is an instant mood-elevator. Not only does it energise the body and aid in improved physical strength, it also aids in stabilizing moods and in keeping depressing thoughts at bay. Working out everyday releases certain mood stabilizing hormones like serotonins and catechins, which help in stabilizing the mood and minimizing the flow of harmful hormones. With an influx of endorphins in the system, the body gravitates towards emotional fulfilment, keeping you abreast of negative thoughts. Exercising is also conducive to self-esteem. With a fitter body and improved cognitive functions, you tend to look at yourself in a more positive light.
It is never too late to start working out. By working out regularly, you will be able to keep mental diseases at bay and enjoy a healthy mental and physical life.