There are tons of benefits to exercising regularly – living longer, feeling better, feeling more confident, and feeling relaxed.
For the most part, people really only associate fitness with being physically active and fit. However, there’s a new wave of realization that fitness is also really beneficial for the mind. As it turns out, when you exercise your muscles, you exercise your brain, too.
Keep reading to learn more about how your workouts can also help your mind.
Improves Your Memory
Any type of exercise that elevates your heart rate will benefit your mind. When you do cardio exercises, the increased blood flow through your body also reaches your brain, providing it with tons of fresh, oxygenated blood. The increased blood flow helps stimulate the brain and improve your memory. Studies have shown that individuals who exercised performed better on a memory test than those who did not. Exercising can also help slow your mental decline as you age.
Unwind the Mind
Exercise encourages the release of endorphins, a brain chemical that acts as a pain reliever and inducer of pleasurable feelings. In addition to the endorphins, getting in your 30-60 minutes of exercise can simply take your mind off your mile-long task list. When you focus on your stride or keeping balanced, your mind has little room to wander.
The endorphins released during exercise can also help reduce feelings of depression. As your mind is pumped full of happy brain chemicals and also taken off your troubles, you find it easier to feel happy again. Exercising regularly can help you gain confidence in your body or social life; get more social interaction by meeting people in classes or at the gym, and learn how to cope with your troubles in a healthier way. Exercise is so effective at fighting stress and depression that more physicians are recommending it as a first course of action to fight depression.
If you’re a weightlifter, you may have noticed a change in your ability to focus on tasks outside of your workout time. This is no mistake. In a few studies, researchers have found that weightlifters have a higher level of focus likely due to needing to focus on keeping the correct form and breathing through several repetitions.
Stick to Your Goals
One study that found weightlifting can improve your focus also found that those who perform long sessions of cardio are more likely to stick to their goals. This is likely due to the fact that doing cardio for close to an hour is taxing and requires tons of mental focus and endurance.
Boost Your Creative Thinking
When you exercise, you are able to think of something completely different than what you were doing. In many cases, you can zone out and let your mind wander. Doing this allows your brain to stretch its creative muscles. Creative thinking doesn’t mean being an artist or photographer. Rather, it means being able to create a new neural pathway in your brain to solve problems or see things differently than you once did. The time you spend exercising can help you creatively solve problems in your personal or professional life.
With all the mental and physical benefits exercise offers, there’s no way you can’t exercise. Your body and your mind will thank you for adopting a regular fitness routine. Ready to get your fitness routine started? Click here for our latest promotions to save.