- Exercise pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. [CR- Endorphins are analgesics that also help reduce pain signals.] Although this function is often referred to as a runner's high, any aerobic activity, such as a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike, can contribute to this same feeling.
- It reduces negative effects of stress. Exercise can provide stress relief for your body while imitating effects of stress, such as the flight or fight response, and helping your body and its systems practice working together through those effects. This can also lead to positive effects in your body—including your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems—by helping protect your body from harmful effects of stress.
- It's meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball, a long walk or run, or several laps in the pool, you may often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated only on your body's movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you stay calm, clear and focused in everything you do.
- It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, improve your mood, help you relax, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
Full article: Exercise and Stress: Get Moving to Manage Stress (Mayo Clinic)
Exercise for Mental Health - PubMed Central (PMC)
Sir: In this era of exponential growth of the “metabolic syndrome” and obesity, lifestyle modifications could be a cost-effective way to improve health and quality of life. Lifestyle modifications can assume especially great importance in individuals with serious mental illness. Many of these individuals are at a high risk of chronic diseases associated with sedentary behavior and ...
TIP: Exercise does not have to be work. Do what's fun! My personal favorite is dance. What's yours?
Have a great day! Keep Calm and Exercise On.
Candace Runaas, MS, LMFT-S
Director of Behavioral Health