STAYING ACTIVE HELPS REDUCE STRESS, PROVIDES MENTAL BOOST
A “new you” in the new year is about truly taking time for you. As we envision a more hopeful 2021, there are ways you can give yourselves a boost.
Exercising can be a grind, but it’s important to stay active to help you not only physically, but mentally.
Here are some benefits of exercise.
Getting your body moving helps you reduce stress. The Mayo Clinic said exercise “pumps” up your endorphins – giving you a “high” that makes us feel empowered. Exercising also helps protect your body from harmful effects of stress and can help you take your mind off your concerns.
Give yourself an “emotional lift,” the Mayo Clinic said. Exercise helps us stimulate brain chemicals that could help us feel happier and less anxious.
It’s important to do things you enjoy. Make exercising fun, whether it’s walking, jogging or riding a bike. Do what you enjoy doing.
A good night’s sleep is important for overall health, and exercise plays a vital role.
“We have solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality,” Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., medical director of Johns Hopkins’ Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital in Maryland, said on the hospital’s website.
Exercise helps increase “slow-wave sleep,” the website said, which is a deep sleep that gives the brain and body a chance to rejuvenate. Exercise also helps decompress the mind, which Johns Hopkins said is important to “naturally transitioning to sleep.”
How much exercise is ideal for a good sleep? Johns Hopkins says about 30 minutes of “moderate aerobic” exercise might help people see a difference in sleep quality.
Exercise can give us a burst of improved self-esteem. Feeling good while being active gives us renewed confidence and can improve our outlook on life. Livestrong.com said regular exercise and sticking to a schedule gives people a sense of achievement.
Having an exercise routine and sticking to it provides a mental boost.
HELPS YOU FEEL PRODUCTIVE
The motion of excercise gives off the pump of endorphins, a rush of positivity and increased energy, the Cleveland Clinic said.
The bolt of energy leads people to claim they feel more productive when they exercise.
There’s a feeling of accomplishment after a workout, and exercise can make you feel less groggy and irritable, the Cleveland Clinic said.
Livestrong.com said exercise helps productivity by boosting alertness. The increasing blood flow to the brain can help sharpen awareness.
More energy often means you feel more awake, LiveStrong said.
Small things can help, such as walking during a lunch break.
You may excercise to lose weight or to try to keep from running the risk of heart disease; the reasons are personal, but the motivation to being active leads to production.
HELPS FIGHT DISEASES
Being active might help clear our heads of worries, but it also helps prevent many health problems. Regular exercise can help against a stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis, the Mayo Clinic said. It can also help prevent weight gain. A little bit of exercise each day can help burn calories.
Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help.
AUGMENTS COGNITIVE FUNCTION
Improved blood flow to the brain is a benefit of exercising, the Cleveland Clinic said, which improves cognition. Regular exercise helps us think clearer; exercising your brain is a way to stay mentally sharp.
Engaging in mentally stimulating activities helps build your cognitive reserve, the Cleveland Clinic said.
A recent study showed each hour of “light-intensity” physical activity and 7,500 steps or more daily was associated with higher total brain volume, which was “equivalent to approximately 1.4 to 2.2 years less brain aging,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.
So, try a new hobby, such as chess, crossword puzzles or a word search, or read a book each week.
Or dance. Dancing gets the heart rate going and your blood flowing.
The Cleveland Clinic said in study of “memory-impaired older adults,” those who participated in one-hour ballroom dance lessons twice a week for 10 months showed improved brain function and mood and behavior.
Exercise is crucial to staying healthy in 2021. Make being active a priority in the new year. Engaging in a routine of (fun) activities for your body and your brain will help you feel rejuvenated.