The Mental Importance of Working Out
Most people know how great it feels to work out. Your body starts to look better, it’s much easier to climb stairs, and you just feel good. It’s always quite easy to determine the physical changes after working out for a while, but what about the mental changes?
Hitting the gym has a ton of awesome mental benefits. According to psychcentral.com, sweat sessions can contribute to weight loss, an improved mood, increased energy, better sleep, stress relief, and increased endorphins. Weight loss probably has the most obvious effect on your mental state. First, you start to slim down and then you start to look better. Once this happens, confidence follows! Very few things feel as good.
An improved mood is attained at a much faster rate than weight loss as a result of a regular fitness routine. According to the American Psychological Association, one’s mood can improve up to five minutes after finishing a workout. This is speculated to occur because exercise increases the body’s production of Serotonin, which is regarded to be a big contributor to one’s happiness. This makes perfect sense. After a great workout, you just feel good.
Next is increased energy. Working out strengthens your muscles and develops your cardiovascular system. In addition, your intake of oxygen will increase, allowing your body to operate more efficiently. You won’t necessarily feel this energy boost right away. For your first week or two, you may actually feel more tired. This is just a growing pain of your body getting acclimated to the extra work that you’re doing. Along with the energy boost, you will notice increased motivation to do things.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercise increases your body temperature and the post-workout temperature may promote sleep. Exercise can also shift your body clock. Your body clock is your internal alarm clock. This is how you naturally wake up or know when to go to bed. As mentioned earlier when discussing the energy boost, it takes a few weeks for that energy boost to “kick in” A big part of that process is your body clock shifting. the increase in energy and the increase in sleep are dependent upon one another. Luckily by working out, you’ll get both!
Stress relief is a great reason to go to the gym. Working out is a great way to take your mind off of daily problems and stress.Life is stressful and going to the gym and giving 100% is a great way to relieve much of that stress.
Last on the list are endorphins. According to medicinenet.com, endorphins lead to appetite regulation, a faster immune system, and increased happiness. It is suggested that an increase in endorphins is what causes a “runner’s high”. Perhaps the biggest benefit of increased endorphins is that they reduce the number of chemicals in your body that contribute to depression.
In conclusion, your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so hit the gym and take care of both!