Mental and Physical Benefits of Exercise

You always hear about the physical benefits of exercise.  You know it can help manage your weight, improve your strength and stamina, and lower your blood pressure and lower your risk of certain diseases.  But did you know that physical exercise has other physical benefits as well as benefits to your mental health? Doncaster chiropractor, Dr Nereo Rigoni, knows it does.

Regular exercise can relieve stress

When you are stressed out, you may feel like you are filled with nervous energy.  Working out helps to burn off nervous energy and lowers the amount of stress hormones  in your body, making it easier to relax.

Regular exercise can elevate your mood

You may have heard that exercise stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain, resulting in what is often referred to as a “runner’s high”.  Endorphins are simply hormones associated with positive feelings.  People with low levels of endorphins are more likely to report feelings of depression, so boosting these hormones through exercise can ease these feelings without pharmaceuticals.  These same hormones can also ease symptoms of anxiety.

Regular exercise can help beat addiction

While exercise alone isn’t going to get you through withdrawal or keep a heavy addict from relapse, it can be a good addition to an appropriate course of treatment.  Besides the feel good hormones that are released during exercise, it can also help an addict distract from and deprioritize the desire for unhealthy substances and behaviors.

Regular exercise can sharpen your cognition

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients the brain needs to function effectively.  If you’ve been noticing that you aren’t thinking as clearly as you’d like, or if you’re stumped trying to solve a problem, a good workout may be just what you need to jump start your thought processes.  Regular exercise can also improve your memory and working out when you’re young can protect your brain against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions when you’re older.  Some studies show exercise may even stimulate the growth of new brain cells.

Exercise can help you sleep better

Exercise can help you fall asleep easier and give you a deeper, more restful sleep.  Just be careful not to exercise right before bed, or you may find it has the opposite effect.

Exercise can boost your energy

A good workout is not just exhilarating, it also improves the efficiency of your cardiovascular system.  When your heart and lungs work efficiently, they don’t work as hard, so you have more energy and stamina.

Exercise can improve your skin

Exercise boosts blood flow to the skin, giving you a healthy glow.  The extra blood flow also boosts collagen production, helping you look younger.

Exercise can add some zing to your sex life

If the end of the day finds you too tired for romance, exercise can give you a bit of extra energy to have a little fun.  Not only that, the increased blood flow to the genitals increases arousal in both men and women.  Studies have shown that men who exercise regularly experience less erectile dysfunction than those who do not.

If the thought of working out brings back bad memories of high school gym class, try signing up for something that sounds enjoyable.  Consider yoga, zumba, pilates, kickboxing, or even belly dance.  Anything you do to get your heart rate up for thirty minutes or more a day will provide all of these benefits and more.

If you haven’t engaged in regular exercise in a while, it’s a good idea to consult with a health care professional to make sure you are healthy enough for any activity you are considering.  Call Eastern Chiropractic now on 9857 4503 to arrange an appointment to discuss whether you need to take any precautions before working out.