As the pandemic is taking its toll on the job market, finance, and economy more people are becoming jobless. As unemployment is increasing, mental health is becoming worse with every passing day. People are now becoming concerned about physical as well as mental health because they are finally realizing the importance of both. According to psychologists, the behavioral school of thought talks about human behavior, their lifestyle; and small changes that are changing the overall human life. In short, it talks about the fact that when you engage in physical activity and transform your living patterns, this impacts the production of a happy hormone that helps in relieving stress and anxiety.
For understanding the benefits of a workout and how it impacts mental health, we need to understand our anatomy. In addition to anatomy, we must also have a grip on human psychology and how our daily exercise affects mental health.
Psychological Benefits of Exercises
We all know that according to Maslows hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is at the top of the pyramid. With regular workouts and exercises the human body goes through change, this means that the physical activity improves and the self-image of the person improves as well. While exercising the body secretes a chemical that is known as endorphins. With the help of endorphins, the reception of pain decreases, which also means that it helps in increasing tolerance of pain. Apart from having an impact on pain, endorphins also have an impact on triggering a positive feeling just like morphine. This also means that like the morphine addiction, one can also get addicted to endorphin. This is the same reason, fighters, athletes, and adventure enthusiasts find long harsh playing conditions tolerable. In short, when a person runs and feels exhausted usually this overall exhaustion is linked with a sense of euphoria. Endorphin is manufactured in the brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of the body and helps with overall body response, and suppresses the pain hormone as well. According to most neurologists and neuro-researchers, endorphins work just like a pain killer. However the addiction to endorphin is not the same as that of morphine, instead, most of the researchers claim that endorphin is not additive at all.
Impact of Regular Exercise on Mental Health
Overall, if we see mental health and its impact on the day to day life, we will see that it not only helps in reducing stress but also helps in improving the sleep cycle. A person who doesn’t sleep so well doesn’t allow his body to heal properly and so a tired body impacts the mental health of the individual. Along with improved sleep, it also helps in boosting self-esteem and improving self-image. Daily exercise also helps in reducing anxiety and relieving depression.
Apart from the mental health improvement, there are so many other improvements as well. Especially if we talk about a heart condition, we can say that exercise strengthens the heart and helps the body in maintaining blood pressure. With the help of regular exercise, the energy level of the body improves and the overall muscles become better. The body gets toned up and string as well and you will see a visible reduction in fats. One of the most surprising things is that it also helps to strengthen the bones and accelerates calcium absorption which helps with increasing bone density.
What Kind Of Exercises Is Considered Healthy?
We all know that exercise is healthy but there is a common notion that excess of everything is bad. This means excess exercise is also bad. To explore this notion further, we need to understand one thing, exercise has so many different types and each type is important in its way. As far as the healthy type of exercise is concerned, we can see that there is no good or bad type. Your body has its limit, if you are exercising regularly, you will eventually learn to listen to your body. This also means that if you ever get exhausted, you will be able to feel it. In short, there is nothing called excess exercise. However, we have seen people pushing their body limits. This usually happens in athletes when they are trying to work for some fight or game. If you keep challenging the limits of your body eventually, your body will not find time to heal and the injuries will become permanent.
Some of the best exercises that are recommended to everyone include aerobic exercise mainly. This includes simple exercises like swimming, jogging, walking, biking, dancing, yoga, gardening, golfing, household chores, etc. The best thing about these exercises is that you don’t need to work too hard, spend too much money, buy equipment or look for special sportswear.
Is Exercise The Only Thing?
So far we have seen that people keep talking about the overall exercises and how these exercises impact human health. Apart from this, people are also exploring ways their daily exercises are impacting their psychological health. However, most people question if physical exercise is the only thing that impacts psychological health. This is not true because there are so many other factors as well. One of the main factors is social support. If the social support is not very strong, soon the person will start getting depressed. A very evident example of this situation is the ongoing pandemic. People are now getting more concerned about their psychological health because their social ties with others are getting weaker. More people are willing to extend a helping hand but the impact of social interaction and touch is still there. According to research conducted by developmental psychologists, children who long for human touch or children who are kept in isolation suffer from more diseases as compared to children who are loved, cared for, and experience proper human touch.
If you are facing some issue with regulating your daily exercise routine, you should start the exercise routine with your partner or join a class. It has been noticed that people who work in a group are more motivated as compared to people who work alone. Apart from the motivation factor, another important thing is the self-assurance and learning factor. With social interaction, you will be able to compare your progress and learn more as compared to learning individually.
Exercise for Improving Mental Health and Depression
For someone who is going through depression, most people talk about regular exercise. However, people are not familiar with the fact that regular exercise is different for everyone. For athletes, working out 3-5 days is considered regular, however, for bodybuilders, the intensity of exercises and the frequency are quite different. If you just want to ease your depression, you don’t have to lift heavy weights or spend long hours in the gym. Simple workouts for a few minutes will be good for you. You should exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day for at least three days a week. You don’t have to spend too much time finding a perfect exercise for yourself. Even if you swim every day for a few minutes, this workout will also be enough for you. For most of the simple exercises, you don’t need proper gear or sportswear, however, for swimming, you will need specialized gear like swimming glasses and a swimming costume.
One thought on “Endorphins and Exercise: How Exercise Helps with Depression”
It’s true that you don’t have to invest in any specific sports gear, and don’t have to spend much in order to enjoy a physical workout. However, some protective equipment and sportswear will keep you away from injuries. A rash guard and compression pants for instance have a lot of qualities, and the compression and temperature regulation has been shown to do a great deal in that. There’s nothing worse than doing sports to get out of depression, yet sinking back to it due to an injury that could have been prevented.