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Improve Your Mood with Movement: How Fitness Affects Your Mental Health

By May 8, 2021News

Everyone has different motivations to exercise but making an effort to engage in physical exercise is not just for growing your muscle size or aerobic capacity.  Studies have shown that exercise can boost your mood, improve sleep, and help deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and even addiction.

There are many factors that could explain this link. A few that researchers have found include that exercise can stimulate “feel-good” hormones, known as endorphins and enkephalins.  It can also reduce inflammation in the brain, promote neural growth, and increase levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Finally, exercise can also be a distraction, allowing an individual to find a break from the cycle of negative thoughts or a triggering environment.

How to Get Started

We know that getting started can be hard and also an intimidating process.  We recommend starting your fitness journey with 5- or 10-minute sessions and slowly increasing your time. The more you work out, the more energy you will have, so eventually, you will feel ready for more.  You do not need to be an Olympic athlete to reap the benefits.  A recent study done at Harvard found that running for just 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. If you are planning on starting a new fitness routine, consider talking to your doctor first.

Enjoy What You Do

It is important to find a form of exercise that YOU enjoy!  Some people appreciate individual activities, while others value more social workouts.  Here are some common forms of exercise that can boost mental health:

  • Walking
  • Jogging or Running
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Weightlifting
  • Dancing

ShareHouse’s Response 

At ShareHouse, we know how important exercise is for both mental and physical health.  That is why we included a wellness room in our residential services.  The room includes a state-of-the-art treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical, and television to watch guided classes.  We have also supplied other workout equipment such as exercise balls, yoga mats, and fitness bands.

Visit our website or contact ShareHouse for more information about our services.