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How Exercise Can Support Your Mental Health

How Exercise Can Support Your Mental Health

Most of us are familiar with the physical benefits of exercise whether it be to lose weight, lower blood pressure, or increase energy. Not only does exercising benefit you physically, but it will also benefit you mentally. You may have heard of people exercising to improve their mental state and to fight off the effects of depression and anxiety. This is because physical exercise has the ability to improve the symptoms of many existing mental illnesses while helping to prevent mental health concerns before they start.

Mental health professionals commonly prescribe exercise as part of the treatment for individuals suffering from mental health issues. This article will talk about a few psychological benefits of physical activity to help you improve your mental state, health, and overall quality of life.

4 Mental Benefits Of Exercise

Depression And Anxiety

Many research studies have concluded that exercise is a proven mood booster, decreasing the symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Exercise helps promote the growth of new neurons located in your hippocampus (part of your brain impacted by neurological and psychiatric disorders). Research suggests that the growth of these new neurons plays a role in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety. Physical activity also kicks up your endorphin levels, the famous “feel good” chemical produced by the brain. If you hear an individual describe themselves on a “running high” they are referring to this feel-good effect from completing their exercise. Exercising is such a powerful tool for relieving mental health symptoms that a doctor will likely recommend a fitness regime before prescribing medication. 

Decreased Stress

Everyone suffers from stress to a certain extent. Work, school, or completing everyday tasks can induce stress on our bodies. Even minor situations such as running late for an important meeting, or getting stuck in traffic can easily induce stress on the body. Exercise increases your heart rate to reverse stress-induced brain damage by stimulating the production of hormones such as norepinephrine which is responsible for improving cognition and mood as well as improving clouded thinking during stressful events. Exercise also encourages your bodys’ sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”) and parasympathetic system (“rest and digest”) to work together to improve the body's ability to respond to stress. 

Better Sleep

It is no secret that a good night's sleep plays an important role in your physical and mental health.  Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling irritable and exhausted in the short term, but can also have serious long-term consequences. Sleep problems and sleep disturbances can exacerbate the symptoms of many mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Exercise can help you regulate your circadian rhythm and increase your body's temperature which has calming effects on your mind. This means less time counting sheep before you go to bed and more restful shuteye. 

Increased Self-Esteem

From losing weight to increasing muscle mass and improving endurance, there is no shortage of physical benefits from regular exercise. All of those achievements can add up to give you a heaping boost of self-esteem and confidence. Improving your physical appearance can translate into improving your mental state. Checking off that bucket list item of completing a hike you have been wanting to do for years or getting a personal best result on lifting weights will boost your mind, body, and spirit. 

Calgary’s Best Personal Training Programs

The benefits of exercising are not limited to the physical. Exercising will also help you improve your mental well-being and reduce the symptoms of common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. With the increasing awareness about the importance of mental health, many people are looking to exercise as a way to counter mental health obstacles without the need for medication. If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of regular exercise, you can hire a certified personal trainer to help guide you through a fitness regime. A personal trainer will also be able to keep you motivated to help you become the best version of yourself both physically and mentally. 

At Jensen Fitness, our personal training, fitness coaching, and weight loss programs will provide you with all of the support you need to achieve your personal goals while helping you sustain your new healthy habits for the long term. To start your weight loss or fitness journey, contact our team of personal trainers in SE Calgary by calling 1-403-200-0199 or by filling out our online contact form.

FAQ

Q: How often should I exercise?
A: If you are just starting out, it is recommended that you exercise 1-2 times per week to avoid burning yourself out and find a routine that works for you. If you have been exercising for a while, you can exercise for up to 5 days per week. Just make sure you are allowing your body adequate amounts of rest and recovery between workout sessions. 

Q: Are there online personal training options?
A: At Jensen Fitness, we offer both in-gym and online personal training sessions to fit your needs and schedule. Contact us today to learn more about our personal training options and what option you would benefit the most from by calling 1-403-200-0199.

Q: Do personal trainers offer help with nutrition?
A: Personal trainers can offer recommendations for nutrition plans, but unless they have a nutrition certification, they cannot directly design your meal plans or offer professional nutrition advice specific to your needs. If you are looking for a more personalized approach, connect with our nutrition coach.


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Shayne Jensen

Shayne Jensen

Shayne is a passionate entrepreneur and highly experienced business leader in Calgary with expertise in health, fitness and wellness. Growing up in the Rocky Mountains he developed a passion for hiking, mountain biking and snowboarding. And, being a fierce competitor to all sports, he played everything from soccer to tennis to competitive squash, as well as multiple seasons of hockey, football and baseball. In his athletics, Shayne grew to learn and understand that health and fitness set the foundation for a great way of life, and that it allows you to perform better at everything you do while developing the mindset and confidence to become the best version of yourself. At Jensen Fitness, Shayne’s vision is focused on creating optimal performance in individuals while empowering them to become their best selves through health and fitness.


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