6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise: The physical benefits of regular exercise are fairly obvious and well documented.  Along with weight loss and increased energy, exercise can also provide many mental health benefits that the general public is less aware of.  Even if you hate the idea of an intense session at the gym, the life-changing improvements to your brain should not be ignored.  Most people would likely choose to vegetate on the couch rather than go for a long run.  This infographic will hopefully convince you to trade the potato chips for dumbbells.  Do you want to feel better about yourself and think more clearly?  Then get moving!

6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise – #1: BOOST HAPPY CHEMICALS

Studies show that chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which are released during exercise, help reduce symptoms of depression.  When endorphins are released, immune system chemicals that can worsen depression are reduced and body temperature increases, producing a calming effect.

6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise – #2: HELPS WITH ANXIETY

The various chemicals that are released during and after exercise can help individuals with anxiety disorders to calm down.  Using exercise as a means to deal with anxiety and other difficulties is a healthy coping strategy.  Hop on a treadmill or go outside for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise to help reduce anxiety sensitivity.  This is proof that exercise can help you shed much more than just calories.

6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise – #3: REDUCE STRESS

Too many people choose to cope with life’s challenges with alcohol, food, television, or avoiding.  However, these strategies are ineffective and can potentially make your problems worse.  Exercise is a much healthier and potent tool to protect yourself from the daily stressors of life.

6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise – #4: SLEEP BETTER

Do you have a hard time sleep at night?  Regular physical activity can help you to fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.  This, in turn, can improve your mood.  Over time, exercise can lead to much more enjoyable mornings.

6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise – #5: IMPROVE SELF-CONFIDENCE

The most obvious and well known benefit of exercise is that it affects your physique, helping you to lose or maintain your weight.  If you feel better about your physical appearance, you’ll naturally feel better mentally as well.  If you workout consistently and like what you see in the mirror, your confidence and self-esteem will receive a tremendous boost.

6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise – #6: IMPROVE WORK FLOW

Multiple studies have demonstrated the positive effects exercise has on productivity.  Get moving, and maybe that raise you’ve been hoping for will be yours for the taking!