Often the body and mind are spoken about as if they are two separate entities. In fact, there is a wealth of science that suggests they are not. The mind can’t function well if your body isn’t working well. This first blog is to inform you about the benefits of physical activity, the connections between body and mind and the importance of taking care of your body.
Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, judgment and memory in shape, as well as your body. It can also reduce your incidence of depression and anxiety, as well as improve sleep. With regular exercise you are more likely to have improved mood, concentration, self-esteem, and coping skills. Plus, most of us just feel better when we are active. To work properly, your body needs regular attention and movement. Research has shown that just 30 minutes of activity a day can give you these mental health benefits.
Scientists have determined that physical activity affects certain brain chemicals like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, which are known as the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters. Physical activity encourages these neurotransmitters to flow in the brain. Exercise also helps new brain cells to develop and grow, which can serve to prevent mental health problems. For mild depression and anxiety, exercise can be as effective as an anti-depressant.
It can be hard to get moving when you are depressed, but once you do it your mood will be lifted and you will have a sense of control.