Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

How Working Out Benefits Mental Health

Your physical health is closely linked to your psychological health. Being more physically active can be a good way to support your mental wellness.

Discover What You Can Do

When you push yourself physically, you may be surprised to find out what you’re capable of. Take on a challenge like the 75 hard program to get strong. Redefining your own capabilities incentivizes you to try other things that you wouldn’t have thought you could do. It’s a testament to your own resiliency, which is something that you can look to when your spirits are feeling low.

Maintain Positive Interactions

Mental health concerns can feel isolating, so it’s really helpful when you can gravitate towards activities that lend themselves to sociability. Working out is a great way to interact with people informally, and there’s a sense of camaraderie in it even when you’re not part of a team. A physical activity is also a great choice for a get-together. It doesn’t have to be something as run-of-the-mill as a gym excursion. Consider getting a couple of friends together for a hike or bike ride. The next time they feel inspired to do the same, you’ll be one of the first people who they reach out to.

Gain Body Confidence

Enhancing your physique can be a big confidence booster. Even if not feeling confident about your body doesn’t trigger much social anxiety for someone, any extra edge that he or she can feel good about is going to offer some welcome support as they navigate social situations that they aren’t entirely comfortable with.

Get Outdoors

Enhancing your strength and endurance can give you a push to spend more time outdoors. Going for a jog or a bike ride near the start of your day can set a positive tone for it. For the most part, spending time outside is good for your mental health, so try to make outdoor activities an integral part of your active lifestyle.

Step Up Your Energy Levels 

While it’s true that working out is going to expend some of your energy, it can give you better balanced energy overall. After beginning an intensive exercise regimen, you may find that you experience fewer highs and lows in your energy levels. Instead, you may have more upbeat and consistent energy to get you through exercising and whatever else your day has in store for you.

Boost Your Brain Chemistry

Working out can help your brain release the chemicals that you need to feel good. After intense exertion, you’ll get a big shot of endorphins, a naturally occurring compound that makes you feel good after you’ve done something strenuous. Not all of your feel-good chemicals in your brain originate there. Most of your body’s supply of serotonin, for instance, comes from your gut. Physical activity is just one cue that sends your gut into serotonin production.

Make Better Food Choices

When you spend your time and energy on working out, you won’t be enthused about undoing that work with poor food choices. In this respect, exercising can foster smarter snack and meal choices that are good for your mental health.

Ultra-processed foods that are tough on your digestive system don’t support your mental health. In contrast, whole foods like fruits and nuts are fantastic fuel for your brain.

Shush Negative Inner Dialogue

Being active is a great way to tune out negative inner dialogue that muddle your thought process. Putting your energy towards doing something good instead of fixating on complaints enables you to retain control of your innermost thoughts.

Ultimately, forming healthy habits and working out regularly can do a lot for your mental health. Being active is an effective way to support your psychological well-being naturally.

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