Mental Health and Fitness: How They Are Related

You already know that an active lifestyle leads to better physical health, but did you know that your fitness level also benefits your mental health? It’s true. Staying active boosts your mood. Below are 4 mental health benefits of beginning a fitness training program in Phoenix, AZ.

Stimulate Those Feel Good Hormones

Are you overwhelmed by responsibilities? Are you finding it more difficult to handle? Well, the good news is that the body produces so-called “feel good” hormones that make everyday problems seem more manageable. Sometimes these hormones need a little help moving through the body. Exercise is one way to stimulate these hormones called enkephalins and endorphins.

Stop the Negative Self-Talk

People who go to a fitness center in Phoenix, AZ, regularly, find that they don’t participate as much in negative self-talk. While those feel-good hormones come into play during an exercise class, that’s not the only thing that contributes to a better mood. Regular exercise gives the mind a break because you’re focused on your exercise routine. Depending on the type of exercise you participate in, you feel calmer, more energized, and tend to feel more connected with yourself and those around you. All of these benefits of exercises improve the body’s general health and improve your mood.

Exercise for Chronic Medical Conditions

Could exercise be a natural “medicine” for depression and anxiety? This is what people want to know, especially those taking medication and experiencing unpleasant side effects. There are people in the mental health profession and medical doctors who see exercise as great way to counteract the effects of depression and anxiety as well as dementia and even cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.

Why is this? It appears that regular exercise may increase the volume of parts of the brain, supplying more blood to these areas that improve neuronal oxygen flow. When you visit a fitness center in Phoenix, AZ, regularly, you’re doing your part to keep your brain’s blood supply happy and healthy.

Even if you don’t suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, regular exercise is still important. Mental health problems aren’t always chronic. Seasonal and life changes cause shifts in mental attitudes. Regular exercise helps everyone stay one step ahead of debilitating thoughts that leave a person sad, anxious, and unable to cope with the daily challenges of life.

The Magic Number

So, how often should you participate in fitness training for optimal mental health? Psychiatrist Madhukar Trivedi, recommends 3 or more weekly sessions of resistance and/or cardio training that last from 45–60 minutes each. While you might notice a slight change in your mood after one workout session, it usually takes 10–12 weeks before antidepressant effects take their full effect. Give yourself time to see the benefits.  

For a fitness center near Phoenix, AZ, that offers many fitness classes, personal training, cardio machines and weights, contact Mountainside Fitness today and start feeling better, physically and mentally.