Actually, if you could put those exercise benefits into a pill, it would be a billion-dollar drug!
And, if you’re feeling lazy, you can even achieve the three extraordinary exercise benefits listed below simply by taking a regular daily walk:
- Prevent disease,
- Improve your health,
- And feel better than ever.
But that’s not all exercise benefits do for you. Exercise can also:
- Raised self-esteem,
- Build your confidence,
- Help you to sleep better,
- Improve your overall mood,
- Give you much more energy,
- Relieve anxiety or depression,
- And improve your mental health.
Those are pretty great results for just a stroll around the block. And that’s all it takes to lift up your spirits and help you to feel really, really good.
Want some proof?
Benefits of Exercise and Mental Health
Duke University Researchers studied a group of clinically depressed men and women for four months. Of those who exercised, 60% were able to overcome depression without any antidepressant drugs.
And even though patients who used drugs had over 55% recovery, they had to deal with all the depressing side effects of antidepressants.
Other studies on exercise and mental health have shown that people who exercise are much less likely to have recurring bouts of depression than those patients who take antidepressant medications.
This is why the Mental Health Foundation recommends all patients with depression be offered an exercise prescription instead of drugs. Exercise is a much safer, more pleasant and less expensive solution.
The great thing about all of this is you don’t have to be clinically depressed to experience the feelings of well being associated with exercise.
Exercise and Sleep, Anxiety and Well Being
Any physical activity causes the body to release endorphins. And these natural painkillers can create feelings of happiness that last for hours.
Endorphins help exercisers deal with all the big and little frustrations that make most people feel angry, sad or anxious on a daily basis. This allows them to better cope with the ups and downs of everyday life.
And you don’t have to be a fanatic about exercise to reap the rewards.
Simply walking briskly for a half-hour a day can cut your risk of death by all causes by 50%. It also helps you stay alert, manage stress, sleep better, relieve anxiety, overcome depression and take on life’s challenges.
In fact, it’s better not to be an exercise junkie. Excessive exercising can undermine all the benefits for both physical and mental health.
Benefits of Exercise and Your Social Life
For exercise that helps you sleep better, manage stress, relieve anxiety, overcome depression or just feel better than ever, start simple.
Studies show an active social life lifts your spirits and lowers heart disease risk. So you might say, not only is exercise with a friend good for your physical and mental health, it’s also good for your heart and soul.
Babyak M, Blumenthal JA, Herman S, et al. Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of Behavioral Medicine. Exercise treatment for major depression: maintenance of therapeutic benefit. Psychosom Med. 2000;62(5):633-638.
Marlene P. Freeman, MD: Nutrition and Psychiatry. American Journal of Psychiatry. Association of Western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women. Am J Psychiatry 2010;167:244-247