Mental Health Benefits of Exercise:
If you are a regular fitness goer, you would be very familiar with that amazing feeling you get after you complete a cardio or strength workout. The feeling that has you lighter on your feet, glowing and blood pumping, or when you lift that heavy weight, you didn’t think possible. We know this feeling, we use this feeling to drive us to get through a workout, knowing full well the positive aftereffects.
In this blog, we are focusing in on that feeling and what actually happens chemically in your body when you exercise. What exactly are the mental health benefits of exercise?
The amount of chemicals and hormones that get firing in your brain and body when you undergo a group class at Kick N’ Box is impressive.
One hormone that is heavily linked to Stress Relief, Anxiety and Depression is called Norepinephrine. This hormone is one of our bodies first responders to any stressful situation. Simply put this hormone reacts in stress by constricting the arteries, increasing blood pressure and helping blood get back to the heart. Like most hormones, if norepinephrine becomes too low or high it can lead to health issues. The trick is to keep this hormone in balance. We can achieve this by exercising regularly. When we exercise, this hormone becomes higher in concentration, so when we are faced with a stressful situation our body is ready to attack it.
If you have ever watched Legally Blonde growing up, you would be familiar with this quote made by Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” She spoke some real truth in that courtroom. Each time we train, our body produces the happy hormone, Endorphins. A study in 2013 showed that the increase on endorphins due to a basic antidepressants or classes has no different in effectiveness. Just 30 minutes a day of exercise can increase the hormone.
Another area of benefit with regular exercises, has to do with our brain health. Specifically, two spots in our brain located above our ears, called the Hippocampus. This is used of used for learning, emotional response and heavily for memory. When we workout out we have a boost in the chemicals that feed the Hippocampi. After the age of 45 our brains do suffer from some cognitive decline. If we keep exercise a regular habit and a priority in our lives, we are giving our brain a fighting chance against memory loss.
I hope this made some of the information digestible and not too hard to understand. All in all, any form of exercise, from 30 minutes of walking to our 45-minute Kick Boxing Classes, are hugely beneficial for our mental health.