4 mental benefits of exercise

Undoubtedly exercising offers physical benefits, but what about the mental ones? Exercising regularly can not only change the way you look, but also the way you feel, and many times, the mental benefits you experience are much more important than the physical ones. They are the benefits that make you stick with exercising for good, and they’re also the most important gains you can make through your workouts.

Stress relief

Exercising is an effective way to relieve stress. When you’re stressed, your muscles (especially in the upper back and neck) tense up which can cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches and permanent tension in those muscles. Being physically active helps relax those muscles and relieve tension. In addition to that, focusing on exercising takes your mind off the things that cause you stress, and as a result, your mind and body feel better.

Higher self esteem

Through working out regularly, you can improve your self esteem. Knowing that you are actively working to get your body in good shape will make you feel better and more confident about your body. Once you start focusing on the progress in your abilities and on all the things your body can do for you instead of how it looks, your whole outlook changes and you’ll be grateful for the body you have instead of looking for little things that could be wrong with it.

Feel-good chemicals

Exercise triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine and serotonin; chemicals that make you feel good. Has it ever happened to you that you had a really hard time dragging yourself to the gym, you didn’t really want to go but you went anyway, and as soon as you started working out your lack of motivation disappeared and you powered through your workout feeling great? It might have been these chemicals bringing about your change of mood as soon as you started, and they’re also the reason that you feel especially good during and after exercising.

Persistence, discipline and mental strength

Pushing yourself to get your workouts done regularly even when you don’t feel like it will teach you discipline and persistence. Challenging yourselves with your workouts and completing tough workout sessions when you could just as easily go home and lie on the sofa instead will teach you mental strength. Those qualities don’t only come in handy in fitness, but also in everyday life. They will help you reach goals and make decisions, but most importantly they will make you feel proud of yourselves because you know what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

If you exercise, have you ever experienced any of these benefits? If you currently don’t exercise, give it a try and see what it can do for you!

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