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All the Ways Exercise Is Good for Your Mind and Soul (Not Just Your Body!)

So, you can run 5 miles no problem, and bench press your weight, but what about the rest of you? Physical benefits aside, exercise can have a positive impact on your mind and mood.

People begin, and continue, exercise programs for all sorts of reasons: weight control, physical appearance, sports performance, health, and just out of habit. These are all fantastic reasons to exercise. All of these things can lead to a longer, healthier and happier life. Happier? Yes, that's correct. Not only is exercise good for your physical well-being, but it's also fantastic for your mental well-being.

Fighting Depression

Studies have shown that regular exercise can help fight mild to moderate depression. It promotes changes in your brain that contribute to feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins which are mood boosters. Now, don't stop taking your meds without a doctor's consent and input. Instead, talk to your doctor about the benefits to exercise, and how they may affect your condition. Even if you are not diagnosed with depression, exercise will still boost your mood and leave you feeling relaxed.

Anxiety and Stress

The world is a stressful place to live in. Work, family, bills, car, home, and so many other things contribute to your mental state. Some days things seem to be sailing along nice and smooth. Other days, it feels like nothing goes right. That's normal, and everyone needs to find ways to cope. Exercise is one of those ways. A good sweat session can break up the stress cycle. It can loosen up tense muscles, relieve pain, and release those endorphins to help you feel better at a chemical level. And if you have anxiety, that can be relieved as well. You don't even have to go out and sweat for an hour. A light workout for as little as 20-30 minutes can help you feel better. Once you feel better, you can tackle all of those stressful situations with a clear mind.

ADHD, PTSD, and Trauma

These are things that so many people deal with these days. You or those you care about may be among them. While professional help should be sought, exercise can be part of the healing and coping process. Physical activity boosts dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in your brain. These help you feel better, as well as focus and concentrate. It can also affect your nervous system, and help you move past trauma.

Some Other Positives

Your body, mind, and soul are entwined. When one is impacted, so are the others. Here are some other ways physically moving your body helps your mind and soul:

  • Improved memory and thinking.
  • Improved self-esteem.
  • Better sleep.
  • Increased energy.
  • Higher resilience - physically and mentally.
So, get out and move your body! Even a little bit will feed your mind and soul.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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