Exercise is essential for not only physical, but mental wellbeing. Have you ever noticed how happy and relaxed you feel after training? There’s a reason you feel positive vibes flowing throughout your body.
When you work out, your brain and nervous system release chemicals called endorphins. They’re often referred to as the ‘feel-good’ chemicals of the body, and anything from laughter to dancing to exercise can cause them to be produced.
Endorphins are the body’s natural form of pain relief, and they also trigger feelings of happiness within the body that some describe as a euphoric high.
It’s because of these endorphins that exercise has been proven to:
- Reduce stress and the risk of depression and anxiety
- Improve sleep
- Promote pain relief
- Boost self-esteem
- Encourage relaxation
Another reason you feel so good after exercise, and even during your workout, is the increased blood and oxygen supply to your brain. The faster your heart pumps, the more your blood vessels in your brain grow, leading to improved cognition and function.
What exercise is best for mental health?
Any form of physical activity will give you that rush of endorphins, but here are just a few of the types of exercise that can improve mental health and wellness.
- Yoga classes
- Pilates classes
- Running or walking
- Strength training
- High-impact interval training – try our FIIT30 classes
How can I improve my mental health and wellbeing with exercise?
Simply adding a 20- or 30-minute workout to your day can do wonders for your body and mind, but you don’t have to stop at that. If you can train for an hour, then do it! Some days might be busier than others, so whatever exercise you can fit in will be as good as any.
With this in mind, if you’re ever looking for a little pick me up – try going for a run, put on your favourite song and have a dance party, or book in for your favourite Fernwood class and get ready to feel good!