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How Exercise Improves Both Physical and Mental Well-Being

Making time for regular physical activity can have a huge positive impact on your mental and emotional state

We all know that exercise is good for physical health - it keeps your body strong, boosts your energy levels, can help you maintain a healthy weight, body composition, prevents injury and the benefits go on. But did you know that exercise is also incredibly important for your mental well-being?

Making time for regular physical activity can have a huge positive impact on your mental and emotional state. Here are some key mental health benefits of exercise, just to name a few:

Stress Relief - When you're dealing with stress, anxiety or feeling overwhelmed, going for a run, hitting the weights at the gym or taking a yoga class can be one of the best remedies. Exercise releases endorphins - the body's natural mood elevators - while also helping to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. You'll feel refreshed and in a better headspace after a good workout session.

Confidence Boost - Along with the mood-boosting effects, exercise has been shown to improve self-confidence and self-esteem, too. As you start to see and feel the results of your hard work, you'll gain a real sense of accomplishment. The better you feel physically, the better you'll feel mentally and emotionally.

Better Sleep - If you are having issues falling or staying asleep, making exercise a part of your daily routine can do wonders for improving sleep quality. The energy expenditure helps promote more restorative, restful sleep. If you are a night-owl and would rather lift when the kids are in bed, keep a log on your sleep cycle. For some people, exercising too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect.. A lack of sleep can worsen stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Exercise's sleep-enhancing effects create a positive cycle of better sleep leading to better mood and focus during the day.

Improved Focus - Studies show that cardiovascular exercise provides a jump-start for the brain, increasing focus and cognitive abilities and boosting your concentration and mental clarity. Whether it's pounding out miles on the treadmill or going for a bike ride, getting your blood pumping can sharpen your mind. During exercise, more oxygen-rich blood circulates through the brain while also triggering the release of endorphins and other feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. This increases focus and mental energy both in the short and long-term. Exercise has even been shown to foster new brain cell growth!

Therapy for Depression and Anxiety - For cases of clinical depression and anxiety disorders, exercise can be an incredibly effective complementary treatment. It creates the same brain chemistry changes as antidepressants, making it a powerful combatant against these mental health issues. Of course, exercise isn't a full replacement for medication and therapy, but it can provide enormous benefits.

The bottom line - taking care of your mental health should be a top priority. While exercise alone isn't a cure-all, making it a consistent part of your lifestyle can make a huge difference in managing stress, boosting your mood and feeling your absolute best. What are you waiting for? Let's get moving! Contact us today to start your new journey with one of our trained and certified personal trainers.

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