FIT Notes: Mental Health
7 Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health
- A better night’s sleep: Regular exercise can improve our sleep quality, which supports our healthy brain function.
- Sharpens thinking: In the long term, exercise can also help to combat brain ageing and Alzheimer’s through improved blood flow and increased levels of important proteins in the brain.
- Improves energy levels: Starting your day with some physical activitycan help you feel more energized and ready to tackle the rest of the day thanks to the release of endorphins in the brain.
- Reduces physical health issues: People who exercise regularly are also less likely to experience heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are factors that are associated with an increased risk of developing dementia.
- Mood buster: Exercise stimulates the production of chemicals like endorphins, endocannabinoids and dopamine that improve your mood, as well as helping to reduce anxiety and stimulate feelings of calm.
- Relieves anxiety: One of the most common types of mental illness is anxiety, and exercise has been shown to be a natural anxiety reliever. Rhythmic activities that require moving both your arms and legs are especially effective, such as walking, running, swimming, martial arts, or dancing.
- Reduces social isolation: Another benefit of exercise for mental health is reducing the feeling of social isolation. Many physical activities, such as walking, swimming and cycling, encourage you to get out into more social settings such as the beach, community walking tracks and gyms.