Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
Itís no secret that exercise does wonders for your heart and physique, but few give much thought to the benefits that exercise has on your attitude and mental health.
Studies have proven that exercise is a highly effective approach to reducing stress, sadness, anxiety and improving your quality of sleep. And, although exercise is not a cure all for serious mental health issues, it is a beneficial companion to other treatments.
Physical activity increases the bodyís serotonin, endorphins and dopamine levels all of which are associated with elevated or better moods. In fact, studies have indicated that more than 50 percent of individuals suffering from mild depression found relief after exercising for as little as 30 minutes two to three times each week.
In essence, most people have a better outlook on life after exercising. With an increase in the bodyís natural chemicals, those that exercised also felt a sense of accomplishment.
If you are among the millions that constantly feel stressed, anxious or are plagued with a low level of self-esteem, give some thought to adding an exercise routine to your week. While, exercise might be the last thought on your mind, the benefits you receive just might surprise you. Starting slow and selecting a physical activity that will present a small challenge will give you the added benefits while not challenge you to the point of becoming discouraged.
There are three easy-to-get-you started tips that will increase your success, improve your physique and your mental health.
1. Donít make it complicated. Start with a simple and easy to follow routine. Trying to do too much too soon can be overwhelming and the task will seem daunting.
2. Think of an activity you enjoy and get active. Start by taking a brisk walk around the block, ride your bike or try a light workout with weights. The idea is to get your body moving, but donít overdo, stick with a 10, 20 or 30 minute session three or four times each week.
3. Try to find a workout buddy. Exercising with a partner not only offers encouragement it keeps you on the right path and you are less likely to quit.
As your stamina begins to increase, add additional challenges; ride your bike an extra mile, walk faster or challenge yourself with an uphill climb.
Overall, exercise is an effective plan of action that will improve the state of your mental health, and as your fitness level improves you will notice an improvement in your self-esteem. The changes your body goes through while exercising will improve your overall mood and put stress in its place.