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Wellness of Mind and Body through Exercise

In the last decade, scientists have studied how exercise can enrich brain function. No matter the person’s age or fitness level, research shows that making time for exercise offers some important mental advantages.

The following are six ways exercise can boost not just your cognitive level but also your overall sense of well-being:

Stress Reduction
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Stress relief is one of the most popular benefits of exercise. Sweating up can help neutralize physical and mental stress. Also, it increases your body’s reserves of norepinephrine, a biochemical that can tameyour brain’s response to stressful situations. So if you ever feel like mental tension is getting the better of you, get up and start moving out there.
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Increased Happy Hormone Production

Slogging through a few miles on your treadmill can be such a challenge, but it’s definitely worth the effort! As you might have heard in the past, exercise releases happy hormones called endorphins. According to studies, exercise can even ease symptoms in clinically depressed patients. Because of this, doctors recommend gym time for anyone suffering from depression or anxiety as long as long as they are physically capable. Sometimes, exercise can equal the power of antidepressant drugs.

No problem if you’re not really the gym rat type — it’s possible to get that happy buzz from only 30 minutes of working out.

Self-Confidence Boost

Get on the treadmill and start looking and feeling like a million dollars. From the core, physical fitness drives up your self-esteem and shapes a positive self-image. Irrespective of your gender, age, size or weight, exercise can swiftly elevate your perception of your own self-worth.
Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Your self-esteem can improve even more when you exercise in the great outdoors. Do some research and find an outdoor workout that matches your style, whether it’s hiking or jogging in the park or rock-climbing and so on. All that Vitamin D your body gets from the sun (don’t forget to wear that sunscreen!) can stop that depression on its tracks.

Maintaining Cognitive Ability

It’s not nice, but it’s true — as we age, our brains get a little less sharp. Even as exercise and a healthy diet are no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, they can help combat cognitive decline, which generally starts after a person turns 45. In individuals with ages 25 to 45, exercise increases the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that stop the degeneration of the hippocampus, that part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

Anxiety Alleviation

Finally, just a little Q & A: which do you think is better when it comes to relieving anxiety — getting a warm bubble bath or jogging in the park? You may find the answer surprising. The warm and fuzzy chemicals released by your body during and after can be soothing. Who says exercise is just good for physical health?