In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, exercise is also a part of a healthy lifestyle that everyone needs to do. However, not only for physical, exercise is also good for maintaining mental health, you know.
Of course, these benefits can only be felt if you exercise regularly, balanced with other healthy lifestyles, such as eating nutritious foods and getting enough rest. If done regularly, exercise makes your mood improve, due to an increase in levels of endorphins. Indirectly, you can avoid stress and other mental health problems.
Benefits of Exercise to Maintain Mental Health
In general, the benefits of exercise to maintain mental health are no joke. There are several benefits that you can get from this good habit, namely:
– Relieves anxiety.
– Improve mood.
– Boost self-confidence.
– Improve concentration and focus.
– Improve sleep quality.
The benefits of exercise for mental health are obtained because this physical activity can increase blood circulation to the brain and affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA).
It should be noted that the HPA mediates several areas of the brain, such as the limbic system, which controls motivation and mood, the amygdala, which causes fear in response to stress, and the hippocampus, which plays an important role in memory formation and mood and motivation.
During exercise, the body will also release neurotransmitters and hormones such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. Structurally, endorphins, which are similar to morphine, can provide natural pain relief and help induce feelings of euphoria.
Meanwhile, dopamine is often called the “happy hormone” which can improve mood. Then, increasing serotonin levels can also have a positive impact on mood, as well as improve the quality of sleep at night.
Excessive exercise is also not good
Although good for health, excessive exercise can also be bad, you know. If you want to get the mental health benefits of exercise, you don’t need to exercise for hours or run tens of kilometers. Excessive exercise can actually be a cause of mental health problems.
30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking 3 days a week, is sufficient for mental health benefits. If you want to increase the duration, know that exercising for 2-6 hours a week is the maximum point, if indeed the goal is to improve mental health.
If you’re not used to exercising before, you can start with a 5 or 10 minute session and slowly increase the duration. The more you exercise, the more energy you will have so you feel ready to add more.