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Exercise and Its Benefits to Wellness of Mind and Body

In the last decade, scientists have studied how exercise can enrich brain function. Notwithstanding the person’s age or fitness level, studies reveal that spending time for exercise gives some significant mental benefits.

The following are six ways exercise can boost not just your cognitive level but also your overall sense of well-being:

Stress Reduction
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Stress reduction is among the most familiar mental benefits of exercise. Sweating up can help neutralize physical and mental stress. Also, it increases your body’s reserves of norepinephrine, a biochemical that can tameyour brain’s response to stressful situations. So if you ever feel like mental tension is getting the better of you, get up and start moving out there.
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Increased Happy Hormone Synthesis

Running a few miles on the treadmill can be a pain, but it’s worth the hard work! As you might have heard in the past, exercise releases happy hormones called endorphins. Based on studies, exercise can even calm symptoms of clinically depressed individuals. That’s the reason doctors advise gym time for anyone who has depression or anxiety as long as their physical condition allows. There are cases in which exercise proves to be just as effective as antidepressant medication.

It’s okay if you’re not the gym rat type — getting a happy boost from working out for just half an hour a few times weekly can instantly boost your overall mood.

Self-Confidence Boost

Get on the treadmill to look and feel like a superstar. From the core, physical fitness drives up your self-esteem and shapes a positive self-image. Whatever your age, gender, size or weight, exercise can fast elevate your feelings of self-worth.
Loving the Great Outdoors

In the great outdoors, exercising can give your self-esteem an even greater boost. Do a bit of research and look for an outdoor workout that is compatible with your style, whether jogging in the park or canoeing or biking or what have you. All that Vitamin D your body gets from the sun (don’t forget to wear that sunscreen!) can stop that depression on its tracks.

Maintaining Sharp Cognition

It’s not nice, but it’s true — as we age, our brains get a little less sharp. Though exercise and a healthy diet can’t treat Alzheimer’s disease, it can help prevent or control cognitive decline, which starts after the age of 45 in most people. In individuals with ages 25 to 45, exercise increases the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that stop the degeneration of the hippocampus, that part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

Anxiety Alleviation

Lastly, here’s a bit of Q & A: which is better in terms of relieving anxiety — a warm bubble bath or a jog with your dog? You may find the answer surprising. The warm and fuzzy chemicals your body releases during and after exercise can help you calm down. Who says exercise is just good for physical health?