Do you know exercise not only positively affects your physical appearance but your mental health as well? Well, you certainly know that inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle have a role to play in chronic illnesses. But what you didn’t know is that physical inactivity also influences your mental health and leads to stress, depression, and anxiety.

But how often you need to engage yourself in physical activity and healthy exercise? Read on to know!

Also Read

How Often Exercise An Average Healthy Person Needs?

As a matter of fact, exercise is well-known to stimulate blood circulation within the body while producing happy hormones, including endorphins. But the idea that the physical activity might also influence the mood and mental health positively is less immediate and obvious.

However, a little walk session on the sunny day out definitely helps in improving the mood. Doesn’t it? It sure does. But how much exercise is enough to keep our mental health in check?

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an average healthy adult must engage himself in:

  1. Either at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination of both.
  2. Strength training for large muscle groups for at least two times per week.

In general, an average person with no health concern should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, in order to maintain his/her health. It is also recommended to stay active throughout the day.

This will only add up to the health benefits.

The Mental Health Benefits of Adding Exercise To Your Daily Routine

There are numerous reasons why physical activity is good for your body. But here’s why adding exercise to your daily routine will improve your mental health:

Image Credit: Pexels

1. Helps in Depression and Anxiety

Depression & anxiety not only leads to suicidal thoughts but also leaves the person really low in energy. Getting involved in physical activity can help you boost your energy levels, thereby decreasing depression.

This is not what we are saying but according to several studies, exercise can treat depression as effectively as any potent anti-depressant, and that too without any side effects. So it is about time to get physically active, but don’t forget to take your workout buddy with you. 

2. Better Sleep

Insomnia is real, you guys. And if you are one of those unfortunate to be facing this condition in quarantine, you need to get active. According to several pieces of evidence, it is suggested that even short sessions of workout in the morning or evening can help regulate your sleep patterns.

Relaxing exercises such as yoga, meditation or simple walk can do the trick.

3. Brain Boost

Physical activity is directly proportional to the brainpower. According to a study performed on mice and men, it was suggested that engaging in cardio activity can boost neurogenesis.

It is the process in which new brain cells are produced, thereby improving the overall brain performance. It is also suggested that physical activity leads to a smarter brain, enhanced decision making, higher thinking and learning due to increased brain protein called BDNF.

4. Increased Self-Esteem

If you have been physical activity anytime in your lifetime, you’d know what we are highlighting here. On a very basic level, physically fit person feels more confident, and obviously have a positive self-image. Moreover, when you are full of energy, have enough sleep and depression-less, you’d feel confident and resilient. Being active means, healthier you – not only physically but mentally as well.