Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ben Rawson

    Dr. Ben Rawson, DO is trained in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is a current Tri-Athlete and loves running.

    Benefits of Fitness to Mental Health

    Benefits of Fitness to Mental Health

    Whether you’re going to the doctor for blood work, pregnancy, addiction, stress or a physical, you can count on receiving one inexpensive prescription by the end of your exam. Exercise is a free treatment that can help all illnesses or at least reduce negative symptoms for others.

    The benefits of fitness to mental health far outweigh the power any small purple pill could ever create. Whether or not you’re actively aware of this fact, the relationship between emotion and body movement is bound very closely.

    When was the last time you saw an angry person dancing? Hopefully never, unless they’re slightly crazy. Dancing lifts up the spirit and benefits the mood just like yoga creates peace and calmness.

    Similarly, there’s no such thing as a runner’s low, only a runner’s high.

    Mental health is highly affected by the motions and movements in the body, which is why it’s a number one prescription for mental stress. It’s important for moms to have “me time” where they get away from the kids and enjoy a Body Pump class or an epic lifting session at their local gym.

    Scientifically speaking, exercise sends endorphins into your brain, which will benefit your mood and make you feel refreshed and happy- just like chocolate, except it won’t go to your thighs.

    It’s not only great to have these endorphins for mood-related reasons but also for longevity. Research studies have shown that anger-induced changes in the heart can predict future arrhythmias in patients. Mental stress and anger can actually increase your chances of suffering from a heart-related condition, but with the help of exercise you can significantly decrease those chances.

    Beyond decreasing the risk of heart conditions, exercise also helps alleviate some individuals’ desire to drink alcohol and engage in substance abuse to dull their senses. Exercise improves self-image and the desire to take care of oneself because the endorphins make you feel great afterwards and it strips away the craving to pursue any addictions.

    Any kind of workout will boost brainpower, sharpen the memory, help control addictions, increase relaxation and mood, improve self-confidence and self-love, and reduce stress. The hardest part for some people is just getting up and doing it but once you start routinely engaging in exercise, it will become the highlight of your day.

    If you have yet to find the type of exercise that makes you feel the best, go on an exercise hunt. Engage in a different activity every other day until you find one that truly promotes happiness. Once you find your niche, make it a goal to engage in it daily to increase your brain function, mood and of course, physique.

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