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Exercise and Its Benefits to Wellness of Mind and Body

In the last ten years, scientists looked into how exercising can enhance brain function. Notwithstanding the person’s age or fitness level, studies reveal that spending time for exercise gives some significant mental benefits.

Below are six ways regular exercise can help cognition and your overall sense of well-being:

Stress Reduction
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Among the best-known mental benefits of exercise is stress reduction. Sweating up can help alleviate physical and mental stress. It also increases your body’s supply of norepinephrine, a chemical that can regulate your brain’s stress response. So if you sometimes feel like you’re being overcome by mental tension, go out and get moving.
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Increased Happy Hormone Synthesis

Running a few miles on the treadmill can be a pain, but it’s worth the hard work! As you’ve likely heard before, endorphins or happy hormones are released when you exercise. According to studies, exercise can even ease symptoms in clinically depressed patients. This is why doctors usually recommend gym time for anybody who suffers from depression or anxiety, provided they are physically capable. There are cases in which exercise proves to be just as effective as antidepressant medication.

It’s okay if you’re not the gym rat type — getting a happy boost from working out for just half an hour a few times weekly can instantly boost your overall mood.

Self-Confidence Boost

Get on the treadmill and start looking and feeling like a million dollars. From the core, physical fitness drives up your self-esteem and shapes a positive self-image. Irrespective of your gender, age, size or weight, exercise can swiftly elevate your perception of your own self-worth.
Loving the Great Outdoors

Your self-esteem can improve even more when you exercise in the great outdoors. Do a bit of research and look for an outdoor workout that is compatible with your style, whether jogging in the park or canoeing or biking or what have you. All that Vitamin D your body gets from the sun (don’t forget to wear that sunscreen!) can stop that depression on its tracks.

Maintaining Cognitive Ability

It’s not nice, but it’s true — as we age, our brains get a little less sharp. Even as exercise and a healthy diet are no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, they can help combat cognitive decline, which generally starts after a person turns 45. In persons between 25 and 45 years old, exercise boosts the levels of specific chemicals in the brain that prevent the degeneration of the hippocampus, that section of the brain that is in charge of learning and memory.

Anxiety Alleviation

Finally, just a little Q & A: which do you think is better when it comes to relieving anxiety — getting a warm bubble bath or jogging in the park? The answer might be surprising to you. The warm and fuzzy chemicals released by your body during and after can be soothing. And we thought exercise was just a great way to lose weight!