More Than Waistline Control: 5 Surprising Emotional Benefits of Exercise

Is your New Year’s resolution to exercise more? Are you finding it difficult to get motivated? There’s so much more to the benefits of exercise than just weight loss!

Curious about the emotional benefits of exercise? We’ve got you covered. Here are 5 of them!

1. Boost Mood

You have probably heard that exercise can make you feel better. While it might sound too good to be true, exercise triggers chemical release in your brain.

Endorphin release, often called a “runner’s high”, produces feelings of happiness and euphoria. Exercise can also trigger the release of serotonin, which is reduced in depressed individuals. 

Exercise has even been shown to alleviate clinical depression. Even a little exercise every day can lead to an overall increased mood.

2. Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Does work stress you out so much that you don’t feel like working out? Well, one of the emotional benefits of exercise is that it can reduce your stress. So no more excuses!

Another chemical your brain releases during exercise is norepinephrine. Norepinephrine can help mitigate your response to stress. And several of the released chemicals are also well-established to help reduce anxiety.

3. Better Control Addiction

When you exercise, your brain also releases dopamine. Dopamine is well-studied as a reward chemical that can lead to addiction.

If you’re addicted to something, your body likely is craving the dopamine release associated with it. And an intense exercise session releases the same chemicals.

an exercise section can distract you from your addiction and decrease cravings.

Suffering from addiction? Consider finding an affordable drug rehab that accepts Tricare.

4. Reduce Cognitive Decline

As we get older, we lose brain cells and decrease the size of your brain. But exercise can help you fight cognitive decline. It also reduces your risk of dementia and other cognitive disorders.

An intense workout can also increase your levels of brain-derived protein, BDNF. BDNF is crucial for decision making, learning, and higher-order thinking.

The hippocampus, which is important for memory and learning, rapidly decreases as you age. But exercise increases chemicals that can protect it and prevent degeneration of this brain region.

5. Improve Mental Performance

Finally, exercise can help improve your overall mental performance. Exercise boosts neurogenesis, the process of creating new brain cells, which helps improve rain performance. And most of these cells are created in the hippocampus, so you can expect a boost in memory and learning. 

It can also improve workplace performance. One study showed that those who exercise regularly are more productive and more energetic. Exercise can also help with time management and interpersonal performance.

Emotional Benefits of Exercise: Now You Know!

Now you know that exercising can help you out more than just losing weight! The emotional benefits of exercise are vast and can greatly improve your well-being.

Interested in more health and fitness tips? Bookmark Leah’s Fitness for the news and inspiration you need to make your New Year’s resolution come true!