It's never too late to start prioritizing your mental health. One of the most effective ways for improving our mental health is by practicing self-care. Exercising is a great way to devote some time to yourself during your day. Routine exercise has been linked to providing a distraction from negative thoughts and helps with boosting self-esteem. Here are the five benefits of bettering your mental health in the gym:
Weight training and aerobic exercise are linked to producing more endorphins or “feel good” chemicals in the body. Physical activity also increases blood flow to the brain, which impacts our cellular functions, and improves our sleeping patterns, concentration, and mood.
Aerobic exercises are also proven to reduce anxiety and depression. Working out increases your heart rate, which triggers norepinephrine, a chemical that assists the brain in dealing with stress more effectively. Some examples of beneficial aerobic exercises include cycling, dancing, and yoga. Our Group Exercise classes, such as yoga and pilates, offer multiple mental health benefits. Yoga lowers the body’s stress hormone, cortisol while increasing endorphins. Yoga and pilates are both forms of low-impact exercise that can improve blood flow to tension areas in the body.
Being a part of a community, such as one in a gym setting, is a great way to combat anxiety and feelings of loneliness. Joining a community helps establish our sense of belonging to a group. It has been proven that individuals are more likely to maintain their exercise routine if doing it with others.
Working with a personal trainer is another great way to have a social environment during your workout. For those who feel anxious in the gym or simply enjoy having a workout partner, signing up for personal training is a great way to boost your daily social interactions.
Regular exercise for 30 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week can help reduce feelings of anxiety. Creating a routine with exercise builds a sense of purpose and accomplishing fitness goals can make us feel successful. Daily exercise results in more consistent production of endorphins rather than allowing anxiety to build up throughout the week.
Gaining strength at the gym over time is a great way to boost your self-confidence. Exercise can lead to viewing your body in a more positive light. Achieving your goals at the gym is also another way that fitness can help increase your self-esteem. Since exercise boosts your energy levels, this also can increase concentration and productivity, thus, feeling more accomplished overall.
These five tips for improving mental health through exercise create a domino effect. When we experience stress relief after exercising, our anxiety begins to subside. Once our anxiety lessens, our mood improves, we start feeling more confident, and are more willing to socialize with others.