Five Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Exercise will help you to build muscle, improve cardiovascular health, and will inevitably affect your overall physique, but did you know that working out is just as good for your brain as it is for the rest of your body? Engaging in regular exercise has significant psychological benefits and is critical to support your overall wellbeing. Here are five ways fitness helps to improve mental health. 

Exercise to Reduce Stress

Stress is your body’s reaction to a threatening situation, explains Dr. Erica Jackson Ph.D in her article “STRESS RELIEF: The Role of Exercise in Stress Management”.(1) Over time, your body learns how to cope with stress in certain ways. If you’ve become used to not-so-healthy coping mechanisms like losing sleep, eating too much sugar, etc. exercise can help you to retrain how your body reacts to stress.   

She goes on to explain that “human and animal research indicates that being physically active improves the way the body handles stress because of changes in the hormone responses, and that exercise affects neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin that affect mood and behaviors”. Put simply, as your body learns to cope with the stress it endures while working out, it can…

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