There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body – having a healthy heart and improving your joints and bones are just two.
But did you know that physical activity is also beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing?
Regular exercise helps stimulate the release of endorphins, which in turn increases mental alertness, energy and boosts our overall mood. It can increase our self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. It also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems.
The positive impact on our mental health includes:
Mood: Researchers have found that people feel more content, awake and calmer after being physically active compared to after periods of inactivity. They also found that the effect of physical activity on lifting mood was greatest when the mood was initially low.
Stress: The most common physical signs of stress include sleeping problems, excessive sweating and loss of appetite. Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of adrenaline, which raises our blood pressure, increases our heart rate and in turn our sweat levels. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and calm the body down by letting out the adrenaline, to return calmer and able to eat and sleep.
Self-esteem: Physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and self-worth.
Depression and anxiety: Taking part in group activities such as an exercise class or a walking, running or pilates group, enables us to feel part of a community. Isolation makes us vulnerable, so staying connected has a positive impact on our wellbeing, with the added benefit of exercising at the same time.
On that note, grab your friends, your kids and your parents and support Jami in the Maccabi Community Fun Run – it will do you good and be a great laugh at the same time!