Exercise does something truly amazing to your body and your brain. By adding in a short exercise period into each day, you will find yourself losing weight, gaining muscle, and best of all, being happier. Most of us are attracted to exercise for the bodily benefits of these activities, but the endorphins and chemicals that our bodies release while exercising can have immense benefits for our mental wellbeing. For those of us who have careers that revolve around our mental faculties, exercising can actually help to revitalize and rejuvenate our neurons, allowing us to think clearer and work more efficiently. One of the best ways to ensure that you stay active is by joining a great gym and community of likeminded people like the Five Seasons Family Sports Clubs.
The Chemistry Behind It
When we exercise, our brains view the activities we are doing as a stressful activity. Primitively speaking, running, working our bodies and raising our heart rates generally meant that we were running from a predator or hunting for food. To prepare our bodies for this stressful and meaningful experience, our brains have us release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor.) If you have ever been in a stressful experience and felt as if time almost slowed down for a moment. That perception of time was the effect of BDNF mixing with adrenaline to allow your brain to think clearly and your body to respond quickly. BDNF serves to protect your body from potentially stressful experiences, but it can also repair your existing neurons, both increasing your mood and allowing you to think clearer.
How to Get the Most Benefits
Exercising for mood benefits greatly differs from exercising for weight loss or muscle gain. Theories vary on what the optimum amount of exercise is per day, but recent studies have shown that at least 20 minutes of exercise each day is optimum for mood and memory benefits. The exercise that you do should be adjusted for your health limitations. Pushing yourself too hard will make it much more likely for you to get injured, which can, in turn, exacerbate issues like depression. Simply by taking a 20-minute walk in the morning can help you gain many of the mental benefits of hard exercise. If you exercise in the morning, you can boost your productivity and overall attitude for the whole day!
Tips to Staying Active
Staying active is one of the hardest parts of any workout plan. Between your busy life and unexpected plans, finding the time and motivation to get to the gym can be tough on some days. If you are looking to find good ways to stay motivated, try these tricks.
1. Put your gym clothes on your alarm
It may seem like overkill, but putting your gym clothes on your alarm puts your workout in your mind first thing in the morning. Not only does this work well to get you to the gym, but it helps set up your expectations for the day.
2. Start Small
If you are just starting out there is no need to try to kill yourself in the gym every day. Starting with a simple 10-minute workout 2-3 times a week will help set you up for success.
If you are looking to increase your overall mood and get healthier in the process, establishing a weekly exercise routine can work wonders for you. Come into your local Five Seasons Family Sports Club to meet with a trainer today.