Mental Fitness: Daily Exercise Strengthens Your Mind

18th November 2018
As we always say, daily exercise has a direct impact on both our physical and mental fitness. There are many sports and workouts from which to choose, so find the ones you like and have a great time while you take proper care of yourself.

People often talk about the effects that daily exercise has on our bodies. However, it’s important to remember the benefits it offers on a cognitive level in terms of mental fitness. In this article, we’ll examine how working out can help you to maintain a high level of mental fitness.

Mental fitness: daily exercise is good for the brain

While it obviously depends on the discipline, intensity, and consistency that you bring to your workout routine, there’s no denying that exercise benefits not only the body, but also the mind.

With a routine consisting of three sessions for at least 30 minutes each week, you’ll start seeing the benefits in about one month. The curious thing is that as soon as we neglect our routine, the positive effects quickly disappear. The cognitive and emotional advantages of exercise include:

1. Reducing anxiety and depression

Doing either cardio or anaerobic exercise (weight lifting) for between 20 and 60 minutes per session, at least three times a week causes your body to release endorphins. These hormones have an effect on the brain, which experiences a feeling of serenity and well-being.

People riding bikes

Meanwhile, the production of other hormones, including dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, allows us to regulate a variety of emotions, such as anger, anguish, and nervousness.

2. Improving concentration

To have a strong and healthy mind, it’s essential to be able to focus on the activity at hand. Daily exercise promotes concentration, as performing the proper techniques, repetitions and movements of the routine itself will require focus.

Women working out at gym

Maintaining a workout routine improves your circulation, which is closely related to concentration. As the brain receives more oxygen and is allowed to think clearly, it will also be more alert.

3. A higher pain threshold

We can also thank the release of endorphins for this benefit, as they inhibit the nerve fibers responsible for transmitting pain. These hormones are considered “natural analgesics,” and are produced in higher quantities when we exercise.

4. More confidence

Insecurity can affect all aspects of life, from speaking in public to inviting someone to a movie. If you’re too nervous or fear change, it may be because you’re insecure.

The good part is that you can address this issue by doing daily exercise. As you achieve your goals, your self-esteem will improve, allowing you to do things that you never imagined. And it’s all because your mind is stronger and more confident!

5. Improved cognitive function and performance

If your job requires focus or the ability to implement new ideas and write documents, exercise may be what you need to perform better. The same is true if you’re studying and have a hard time retaining information and understanding what you’re reading.

The cognitive benefits of exercise also correspond to an improvement in mathematical calculation, memory, and self-control. This is because daily exercise increases the production of a neurotrophin responsible for things such as strengthening areas like the cortex and the hippocampus.

6. Reduced risks of neurodegenerative diseases

Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are examples of neurodegenerative diseases. To date, there are no cures for either, but there are treatments that can diminish the symptoms or delay their emergence. By strengthening our brains, exercise can be very useful for people at risk of both conditions.

Seniors exercising

7. Helping us to stay on track

This doesn’t mean that we’re out of control, but sometimes we all have trouble doing things the way we’re told. When we exercise, we accept the rules imposed by the trainers. But we also respect others more, and experience a greater level of camaraderie, even if it’s an individual discipline.

Empathy, self-discipline, perseverance, dealing with frustration, knowledge, and diminished aggressiveness are some more benefits of daily exercise, in terms of our overall mental fitness.