How Fitness Helps With Mental Health

There’s a direct link between fitness and improved mental health. If you focus on living a healthier lifestyle, which includes getting adequate sleep, regular hydration, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, you’ll feel better both physically and mentally. Therapists now use exercise as a complementary therapy instead of prescribing drugs. They found that exercise can bring the same benefits without any negative side effects and with many positive benefits.

Stress hormones can cause a problem.

If you’re under stress the body prepares to run or fight. It’s the fight-or-flight response hard-wired into our brains. Unless you run, fight, or do some other type of movement mimicking either, the changes made remain. It can leave you in a state of panic, affect digestion, and cause other damaging physical changes that worsen with time. Exercise helps burn them off, reverse the changes, and produce neurotransmitters that help you deal with pain and make you feel good.

Your body needs sleep to feel your best.

Exercise improves and increases the quality of sleep. Getting adequate sleep is important for mental health. If you’re tired, it’s easier to feel more emotional about situations that might not bother you otherwise. Your brain reorganizes during sleep and repairs itself. It cleans out the accumulated waste and increases lymphatic fluid to help avoid mental decline. Exercise also boosts circulation. The increased circulation brings nutrient and oxygen-laden blood to the brain to clear away the cobwebs and help you see situations with more clarity.

Your diet affects your mental health.

Your gut has trillions of microbes that aid digestion and affect both the body and mind. What you eat determines the population of microbes. The microbes produce enzymes and send signals to the brain. Other microbes produce short-chain fatty acids that regulate the nervous system and help prevent anxiety and depression. Food high in soluble fiber feeds the bacteria that make our bodies stronger. Food high in sugar feeds harmful bacteria. A healthy diet is also beneficial to the body. Eliminating food with added sugar can reduce inflammation which can affect mood.

  • Studies show a reduction in aggression occurs when you increase omega-3 fatty acids and reduce the amount of omega-6 fatty acids consumed. It also can reduce inflammation which takes a toll on mental health.
  • Staying hydrated is also important for mental health, especially in seniors. Even mild dehydration can cause changes in seniors that resemble dementia. It can cause brain fog and irritability in younger people.
  • What you eat affects the production of neurotransmitters produced in the gut. Much of the serotonin in the body is produced there. Serotonin is responsible for mood shifts and many other functions.
  • Studies show that endurance training can improve memory. It helps build new brain cells and neural links. Several studies suggest that exercise may be a good complementary treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

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