When it comes to sports and psychology one of the most popular issues to discuss is the physical and mental benefits of exercise.
If you partake in exercise regularly, be it classes at the local gym, weight lifting, cross fit or anything else, you probably become more aware of it when you actually stop.
Regular exercising keeps your body happy and your head level, but how much do you really know about the physical and mental benefits of exercise?
Whether you want to boost your brainpower, alleviate your anxiety or fight off a bad mood it’s time you looked to exercise for the cure!
PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
1. Weight control
Exercise allows you to manage your weight. Whether you want to control your weight or lose weight regular exercise will allow you to stay in charge of this aspect of your health.
Also in terms of sports and psychology, exercising to lose weight will help to boost your confidence allowing you to feel better about yourself.
2. Reduced chances of getting diabetes
Both cardio activity and resistance training both burn calories and both these methods require an ample source of glycogen as energy. If you are exercising regularly you will be using your stores of glycogen up.
High blood sugar occurs when this glycogen isn’t getting used up and you have an excess of it lurking around in your body. This can eventually lead to diabetes. Regular exercise means you are using these stores up keeping your body healthy.
3. Stronger bones, muscles and joints
Regular exercise helps to keep your bones, muscles & joints strong. When you exercise your muscle fibres undergo microscopic tears and when they heal they grow back stronger giving you bigger stronger muscles.
When your bones undergo stress through exercise, osteoblasts (the bone cells that build new bone) construct new bone to help account for the extra stress – resulting in stronger bones and joints.
Adding resistance training to your exercise regime can also help to further stimulate the osteoblast cells – as well as helping you burn more calories if weight loss is your goal!
4. Keeps your heart healthy
Exercising helps to keep your heart healthy too! When you exercise your heart has to work harder to pump oxygenated blood around your body. This makes your heart stronger and healthier.
Also, continuously raising and lowering your heart rate improves vascular function, burns calories, and makes the body more efficient at clearing fat and sugar from the blood.
If you haven’t been exercising regularly it’s about time you changed that for the benefit of your ticker!
MENTAL BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
1. Boosting the happy hormones
You have probably heard of the word ‘endorphins’ but do you know exactly what it means? Exercise makes you feel good, it’s FACT and it’s SCIENCE.
Your pituitary gland releases the hormones known as endorphins when you are exercising.
A very popular, if not THE most popular subject in sport and psychology, endorphins are a miracle-working chemical and can have an incredible effect on your mood.
They give you a ‘buzz’ and allow you to experience a lifted mood, feelings of happiness and even a mild state of euphoria. For this reason exercise is excellent for mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Endorphins also interact with the opiate receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. So if you’ve been suffering from tension headaches why not try going for some gentle exercise to eliminate it?
2. More brain power!
Exercise can boost your brainpower as well as helping your mood! Have you got a long day ahead? Do you struggle to concentrate when you’re at work? Morning exercise may well be the answer.
Exercising in the morning can be particularly useful because it gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing to your brain. With an increased flow of oxygenated blood through your brain you will feel more alert, revived and motivated.
What’s more, studies have also suggested that a tough workout, be it cardio or resistance training increases levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body.
This particular protein is understood to help with decision making, more productive thinking, and learning.
And that’s the rap…
There are so many physical and mental benefits of exercise and we have only touched upon a few! Exercise can help to lift your mood, relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety and look after your body from the inside out.
With obesity on the rise and modern day living becoming more stressful and hectic, it’s never been a better time to take care of your body and mind and take up a regular exercise regime.
You are spoilt for choice now when it comes to exercise you can enjoy anything and everything from dancing, weight lifting, running, cycling and everything in between!