Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Effects of exercise on mental health

Effects of exercise on mental health

Hello friends! 🙂 Welcome back to another post.

You all already know I love me some mental health content. That’s why today I decided to talk a bit about the effects of physical exercise on your mental health. Everyone knows physical exercise is extremely important for your overall health, but did you know that people who exercise more frequently tend to report higher levels of self-esteem, confidence and happiness?

Sure, some people only want to go to the gym to get bigger or slimmer, and that’s their only goal, but that’s not what motivates people to stay active. The satisfaction you get afterwards is what makes you stay!

Studies show exercising makes you feel better throughout the day, increases your sleep satisfaction, makes your memory sharper, and makes you feel more positive overall. This can easily be explained by our hormones.

Physical activity increases hormones such as endocannabinoids and endorphins. Endocannobinoids work on the rewards part of the brain which is the same system affected by marijuana, while endorphins are your body’s natural opioids, giving us that ‘feel good’ sensation. As a result after exercise, people feel happier due to increased hormone activity, and I reckon it must be an addictive feeling hence why people always come back for more. So think about it this way: exercise makes you feel better about yourself, improves your interpersonal relationships, and makes you more positive and motivated.

All great attributes, right?

The best part of this is that you don’t even need to be a gym freak to get these benefits. Research shows that your hormones increase even after a single 15-minute workout! Lovely isn’t it? And I know that now that the gyms are closed you might feel a bit less motivated, however there are some home workouts you can try on YouTube or Instagram that are usually super complete and with no weights.

I also decided to write this post since many people currently facing any sort of mental health problem do not have a proper coping mechanism (a healthy one), and I personally feel like exercising could help a lot, so hopefully after reading this you’ll feel more motivated to get out there and go jogging or for a morning walk.

See you next week!

Alex x

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