No one really knows how the body and mind work together, but we do know that physical health is directly linked to mental well-being. Even 10-minute bursts of daily exercise — our Olathe fitness coaches recommend working out for at least 30 minutes per day, but who’s counting? — can improve your general ability to function. If you suffer from symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, or poor memory, you may want to start hitting the gym as a supplement to prescriptions and therapy.
Trimming your waistline may be priority #1, but did you know that exercising can also help you trim unwarranted anxiety, mental blocks, and negative thoughts related to depression? Many studies have been conducted to prove—or disprove—this theory, but the proof is in the proverbial pudding.
When you kick your workout into high gear, that complex brain of yours releases endorphins that serve as natural opiates for your body, reducing inflammation and translating pain into pleasure. Essentially, endorphins and other “Made in Brain Chemicals,” such as dopamine, endocannabinoids, and serotonin, make you feel fantastic without the inorganic addiction that comes with painkillers. Some refer to this hormone production as a Runner’s High. If you’ve ever experienced that feeling, you know what we’re talking about.
Completing exercise goals and seeing the results of your hard work can also boost your mood. Hurdling over even the smallest obstacle can give you more self-confidence, which in turn makes you want to continue seeing those results. It’s all cyclical.
Neurotransmitters released by your brain improve your abilities to concentrate, retain information, and recall memories. A post-workout brain stimulates the growth of fresh brain cells, which help you stay sharp as a tack and prevent old age. Research has even shown that regular exercise can reduce ADHD symptoms in both children and adults.
Natural Sleep Aid
A 30-minute exercise routine can do wonders for those classic cases of insomnia. Your morning’s aerobic exercises and a brisk jog around the neighborhood will get you ready for the day, but they can also train your mind to develop a better sleep-wake pattern. In the evenings, a calm yoga session can further that training and loosen your muscles for a peaceful night of shuteye. Studies have linked diseases like Alzheimer’s to poor sleep habits and physical health, meaning memory and your REM cycles may be intertwined.
Unrelenting stress can be a doozy. For some, stress translates to gray hairs and sweaty pits. For others less fortunate, stress can provoke muscle spasms, cluster headaches, and general tightness in the chest. Aside from going to therapy and finding a new job, what can be done to rid yourself of those worries?
Exercise! Those same endorphins that help depression and anxiety can also relieve stress and symptoms of PTSD. Plus, working out allows you to take your mind off any potentially frustrating situations you otherwise have difficulty coping with. Start with cross-movement exercises—those that engage multiple muscle groups in upper and lower quadrants—and focus on your body’s response to the activity rather than your stress levels. Sometimes a break is all you need to get over the hump.
Overcome the Obstacles at SunPoint Fitness
Your mental well-being is as important as the numbers you see on the scale. With our group exercises or a personalized 30-minute workout, you won’t have to choose between focusing on one over the other. At SunPoint Fitness, Mind and Body are one in the same. Become an Olathe gym rat today, and give yourself a shot of positivity. Contact our personal trainers near Kansas City at 913-945-1661 or inquire about membership by visiting our gym at 15280 S. Keeler Street.
Sources & Photos: