Physical Activity and Positive Mental Health
Physical activity irrefutably, categorically and undeniably improves our mental health. When we move, our bodies release feel-good hormones within us, called endorphins. This is an involuntary chemical response to our physical movement and we couldn’t stop this reaction from happening, even if we tried. Nobody has ever felt worse after exercise. If we want to get a happy buzz naturally, we need to move.
When we exercise - especially outdoors, we are forced to be present. We are in “the now“. This is great as it allows us to be distracted from our troubles. We are not regretting the past, which can lead to depression. We are not worried about the future, which can result in anxiety. We are in the moment, and for that period of time all we can think about is what we are doing. Furthermore, exercise in groups is great for our mental health as we are sociable by nature. Exercise as part of a group gives us a healthy opportunity to be sociable.
Exercise helps to improve our self-esteem. We develop a greater level of self-efficacy from performing athletic tasks competently. We feel good about ourselves after completing physical challenges. We can change our body composition through consistent physical activity, which in-turn can make us feel better about ourselves. Our hair will be stronger, our skin clearer and our eyes brighter. This helps us to improve our self-image. If we want to feel better about ourselves, we need to move!
After exercising, we are more alert and more attentive than we were before the physical activity. Counter-intuitively, we actually get energy every time that we give energy. There is a proven and direct correlation between physical activity and academic and professional achievement. Attainment makes us feel good about ourselves. For this reason as much as any other, we need to move!
If I told you that I had created a pill that guaranteed that: you would feel better; your anxiety would be reduced; you would be less likely to get ill (and you would recover faster if you were to become ill); would improve your self-esteem; make you look better; live longer and have a better standard of living through the entirety of your life - how much would you pay me for this pill?
Would I be a millionaire? Would I be a billionaire?!
You get it for free. Just move!