How Exercise Improves Mental Health
Imagine this. It's 75 degrees out, sunny with a slight breeze. You're on a boardwalk overlooking the ocean. You just finished a nice run, and a sensation of happiness and accomplishment overtakes you. These are your feel-good endorphins releasing from your brain, signaling you to feel joy. You completed your workout. Your physical health has been improved, and thus--so has your mental health.
In today's society, mental health has deteriorated at an exponential rate. With the increased focus on modern entities such as social media and television, human interaction has taken a back seat. The need to compare ourselves to others has struck a dagger into individuals' self-esteem, and the rate of depression and anxiety has risen year over year. Because of this, standards for physical fitness tests have decreased, expectations have been lowered, and a new baseline has being created for our society as a whole.
Without strong mental health, we cannot accomplish anything. We won't gain confidence to go after a goal; We won't seek out interaction with others, nor will we be equipped to cope with any barriers that life will inevitably throw at us. However, exercise has a directly positive benefit to all of these. For example, if you successfully reach a goal you set for yourself in exercise such as benching a certain weight by a certain deadline, this will mold your mind to behave along the same parameters when facing more critical situations in life. Furthermore, exercise will have a direct link to how you look and feel, thus causing you to seek out more human interaction with individuals you may not have beforehand.
We all have worries in life--it's part of being human. However, exercise allows us to cope with our worries in a positive and safe way. It allows us to escape the daily worries, even for just a half hour a day, so that we can gain that feel good endorphin release. Exercise will ease the mind and shine light when darkness surfaces. So when you're feeling down, go for that run, lift those weights, hike that trail, and you'll see how happier you'll feel.
Just lift weights, work on yourself daily, see the world, and enjoy life—-because it’s truly a beautiful thing.