Exercise for a Better State of Mind

Mental health impacts more than just our inner sense of well-being. A poor state of mind can wreck havoc on your sleeping habits, lower your immune system and even reduce your ability to manage pain. Behavioral health conditions like anxiety, work induced stress and depression are widespread. According to a 2018 SAMHSA survey, one in five U.S. adults experience a mental health condition each year.

Mounting evidence shows a strong correlation between increased physical activity and improved mental health. We’ve all experienced that great feeling of finishing a difficult set, reaching a fitness goal or running until we burn our calories for the day. Beyond the instantaneous mental high you feel when you workout, scientific evidence suggests exercise actually increases our ability to retain information and significantly reduces levels of stress and anxiety.

A Workout to Remember

Exercise reduces insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulates the release of chemicals promoting brain health and growth. Countless studies show our ability to retain information significantly improves after engaging in exercise. Others indicate regular exercise increases brain size overtime.

Astonishingly, study participants who walked at a fast pace for one hour twice a week over a span of six months experienced an increase in the volume of certain brain regions. Aerobic exercises, specifically, were associated with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that processes verbal memory and learning.

Less Stress

Regular participation in aerobic exercise is associated with decreased levels of tension and a more stabilized mood. When we exercise, our stress hormone levels, like adrenaline and cortisol, go down, resulting in a state of relaxation. At the same time, our norepinephrine concentrations go up. These are naturally occurring chemicals in our bodies known to elevate mood and improve pain management.

A randomized controlled trial analyzing the impact of stationary cycling on patients with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder found an overwhelming number of participants, (90%!), experienced significant reductions in PTSD severity after just two weeks of exercise.

While the prevalence of behavioral health conditions is widespread, regular exercise can help reduce symptoms and give you the tools you need to better manage them. Say goodbye to daily stressors, sleep better and boost your confidence with personal training tailored to your fitness needs. At Core Results, we have designed a private studio space and working environment that fosters positive, supportive relationships between each trainer and their clients. Never worked with a personal trainer before? Learn more about what to expect.

Categories: Advice & Support