Wherever you look, there’s yet another Instagram fitness star boasting their results gained at the gym. Kudos to anyone who devotes time and effort to sculpt a strong physique, but what about their inner strength and wellbeing? Just as choosing the right form of exercise is relevant, so is the motivation that pushes you back to put on your training sneakers every day. Most of us understand how being active affects our physical health. It restores our physical strength and stamina, it gives us endurance and energy.
What about your mind and your spirit? As it turns out, exercise has an even more profound effect on our psyche and our mindset over time. That is why focusing on appearance alone when working out may push you to neglect or miss out on the many incredible benefits of exercise on your mental wellbeing. Here are a few of them you should be aware of so that you can give yourself the time to work on them through your training sessions as well as your physique.
Increase your sleep quality
Sleep disorders are rarely lonesome demons that trouble someone’s mind. They are often just one symptom of deeper mental issues, and they can express themselves in a myriad of ways. When you struggle with insomnia, drowsiness, lack of energy, frequent sleepiness, these are all different ways your mind is telling you that you’re unwell. What’s more, when left untreated, these issues can only worsen your mental health troubles further.
Regular, consistent exercise seems to be the most powerful way to regulate your sleeping patterns and your hormones as well. Of course, everyone has a different rhythm, so it’s key to find yours. Try exercising during different times of the day to see when you can benefit the most from it. Let your regular workouts help you sustain your energy levels during the day and get you pleasantly tired in time for bed. In time, your energy will blossom, and you can expect your mental health to transform, too.
Boost your confidence and self-love
Yes, it’s empowering to see yourself achieving your weight loss goals one day at a time. It lets you unveil your stronger, leaner self, and it gives you a chance to see a different reflection in the mirror, one that you’ve strived to achieve for such a long time. However, appearance is not the only aspect of training that results in increased confidence. It’s the internal feeling of power and pushing your own limits that gives you that feeling of independence and self-reliance, too.
Putting on your favorite bodybuilding clothing is no longer just a routine, it’s like putting on your superhero outfit, one that transforms your mindset into one of determination and perseverance. When you see yourself wearing that gym ensemble of yours, you see all the hours of sweat, effort, and hard work that have given you that confidence you feel now. It’s liberating and it’s immensely beautiful, and it has nothing or little to do with your appearance.
Reduce levels of stress
Stress triggers are practically unavoidable, but our reactions in stressful situations are more than manageable. Occasional situations of stress are a healthy way for you to grow more resilient, but chronic exposure to stress means chronically high cortisol levels, which in turn ruins your health, immune system, sleep quality, and self-perception. In response, too many people, especially busy women choose passivity, instead of activity, all the while forgetting that exercise is the key to finding relief for stress.
When you break some sweat on a regular basis, you inspire your body to produce more of those happy hormones the likes of endorphins, and it reduces your cortisol levels, which is essential for a woman’s wellbeing. To prevent workout-related injuries, keep your body fueled properly for training, and thus reap the rewards of exercise without draining your energy levels completely, you should optimize your nutrition. For example, adding quality women pre-workout supplements to your meal plan will help you stay energized, resilient, and recover with greater ease. That way, your training will never become a source of stress, but always stay a wholesome way to detox from stress and negativity.
With a healthy way to blow off some steam and vent your negative energy, you also have a chance to sleep better as you’ll be exhausted when it’s time to go to bed and finally give your body some well-earned rest. With less stress in your life, you’ll slowly have a more positive outlook on life, and handle your challenges more effectively.
Decrease depression and anxiety symptoms
Everything we’ve listed so far, from battling stress to improving sleep, is vital for managing depression as well as various forms of anxiety. These mental health issues do require professional help, so talking with your doctor could be good for finding the most optimal method to get active and benefit from exercise without pushing yourself too far outside of your comfort zone until you’re ready to do more.
In addition to reducing cortisol levels, which plays a vital role in decreasing the symptoms of depression, exercise also boosts neural growth and lowers body-wide inflammation, which in turn helps your body feel calmer.
Empower mental strength and perseverance
Working out means that you put your body under a lot of stress so that your muscles, bones, and connective tissue can develop and grow stronger. You push yourself harder every day to run that extra mile, so that your cardiovascular system will be more resilient. You add a few plates to the barbell to present a challenge for your musculature. All of those challenges also help you build internal, mental strength.
It would be so easy to just walk away and spend your time like a couch potato. Choosing not to, and deciding that you’ll overcome your obstacles at the gym prepares you for all other life’s challenges, including the ones that don’t have sets or reps. By putting yourself in these situations that are tough on your body, you also transform your character.
Mental health, resilience, and acuity are all vital to our everyday life, happiness, and success. You can use exercise as one of your predominant strategies to boost your health and wellbeing, and your mind will reap all of the rewards that your body does – for as long as you stay dedicated and consistent.