Getting regular exercise is important for both your physical and mental health. If you have a goal to feel fitter, happier and more energised, then exercise will hold a key to getting you there. Here’s 7 ways exercise improves health and wellbeing…
1. Happiness: Exercise helps production of endorphins, secreted hormones that interact with our brain’s opiate receptors. A morphine-like effect is produced that can lower our perception of pain, and our sense of wellbeing is boosted, making us feel good.
2. Memory Protection: The increase in heart rate from exercise enhances blood flow and oxygen to our brain. This leads to hormone production that aids brain cell growth. Flow-on benefits can include better brain functioning and protection of cognitive skills such as thinking and memory.
3. Healthier Looks: The stimulation of blood flow also enhances production of natural antioxidants. We can benefit from healthier skin and be countering ageing effects. And who doesn’t want to look younger for longer? Exercise is also a great way to boost the body’s metabolism and burn more calories which is why it is an essential element in virtually every effective weight-loss program. So you can feel good, and look good, thanks to regular exercise.
4. Bone and Muscle Health: Exercise can help build bone density. Stronger, healthier bones are better able to protect against osteoporosis. What’s more, exercise assists in protecting against muscle loss and can also aid muscle growth due to the release of certain hormones that improve muscle absorption of amino acids.
5. Fatigue Fighter: Energy levels are elevated by exercise which can help fight the effects of fatigue.
6. Disease Resistance: Regular aerobic exercise leads to improved cardiovascular fitness and helps lower blood fat and blood pressure levels. This may help create resistance to serious health conditions like heart disease plus have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity for people managing diabetes.
7. Natural Relaxer: Regular exercising has also proven helpful for improving quality of sleep. Exercise can help loosen tenseness from your body’s muscles so you feel more relaxed.
When planning to make exercise a lifestyle priority, first seek out advice from a health professional such as your GP. Also consider talking with a Professional Counsellor for added support, and to ensure you have the right mindset and are equipped to stay motivated and focused. If weight-loss is a particular exercise goal, then also consider discussing your plan with a qualified nutritionist to ensure your diet is best balanced for optimum health.
There are many scientific studies that show a strong relationship between increased physical fitness and improved mental wellness. So if the likes of anxiety, depression or stress have been holding you back from optimal wellness, then explore including exercise in your daily routine ― you just might discover that it is your positive step for moving your life forward, enhancing your wellbeing, and regaining control of your life.
ROHAN WATSON is a member of the Australian Counselling Association and a general member of the International Association of Applied Neuroscience. He holds graduate and post-graduate qualifications in Psychology, Counselling and Education from Monash University and USQ, including a Master of Counselling (Advanced Practice) degree awarded with Distinction.
As a Psychotherapist, Counsellor and Mental Health Researcher, Rohan is dedicated to helping unlock the potential in people to live happily and more purposefully. His Toowoomba Counselling & Coaching service helps people from all walks and seasons of life.
Rohan has facilitated and delivered mental health programs across rural and remote Australia. He provides professional psychotherapy services to employees at all levels nationally through EAP based services, is a highly sought-after Marriage Counsellor and Relationship Counselling specialist, and has a special interest in the online delivery of mental wellness programs. Rohan’s current research is focusing on early intervention mental wellbeing in the workplaces of Australian SMEs. Learn more.