The physical benefits of exercise are clear; weight loss and weight maintenance, and a lessened risk of disease such as heart diseases, stroke and diabetes. But what about the generous effects exercise has on our psychological well-being? We live in a world where ¼ of us experience detrimental anxiety and 1/5 of us suffer from depression. (1) It is expected that by 2020 depression will be one of our biggest causes of disability and disease. (2) Exercise has immediate effects on improving our psychological and emotional, with long term benefits.
So how does exercise help combat anxiety and depression?
When we exercise, we release what we call ‘feel-good brain chemicals; neurotransmitters and endorphins. Serotonin is an example. So when we exercise, we feel better straight away. Exercise also improves your immune system. When we have an immune system, we secrete potent chemicals called cytokines. Increased cytokines have been linked to depression. Exercise helps us improve our immune system health by reducing these chemicals. Exercise increases our body temperature, which has a calming effect on our state of mind. “The thermogenic hypothesis suggests that a rise in core body temperature following exercise is responsible for the reduction in symptoms of anxiety” (3) When we increase the temperature in certain parts of our brain; we have less muscle tension, leading to increased feelings of relaxation.
Other benefits of exercise include:
Exercise boosts energy
Exercise promotes better sleep
Exercising can improve your social world.
Exercising will help you feel better physically and emotionally, and when exercising here at The Yummy Mummy Club, its also fun! So, really, there is no reason why you shouldn’t exercise!
- 1. Dishman, 2004
- 2. Lopez, 1997
- 3. Craft, 2004
Disclaimer: Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss. Consult with your health care processional before beginning any diet or exercise regime.