The Link Between Exercise and Mental Health

by Lona – Friday, 10. October 2020

At velocity, we don’t only train your physical body. We are equally concerned with supporting your mental health and strength as well. 

What is mental health?

Your mental health is your level of psychological well-being. This is directly related to your ability to manage stress, deal with emotions, process difficult situations, perform at work, concentrate, sleep, have healthy relationships, and much more.

Regardless of who you are, mental health is a topic that concerns you. Just like we must all be aware of how we take care of our physical body, we must also be aware of how we treat our minds.

Increased Strain on Mental Health

In today’s world – with our busy lives, high-stress jobs, and social media – many more people are finding it challenging to manage their mental health. Two very common resulting issues are Anxiety and Depression.

Luckily, the discussion around mental health and mental illness has largely picked up – making those suffering from serious mental illness better able to recognize their symptoms, validate their feelings, and get appropriate help.

It is important to recognize however that paying attention to your psychological wellbeing is extremely important regardless of if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or not. While it is perfectly normal for anyone to feel stressed or sad sometimes – learning how to handle these emotions appropriately can be key for preventing more serious cases of Anxiety, Depression, or other illnesses in the long run.

How does exercise help? 

Whether you are suffering from a real and debilitating mental illness, or you wish to just release and manage everyday feelings of stress, sadness, etc. – exercise can help. Of course, in the case of serious mental illness, this should be in addition to and not in replacement of any medications or treatments advised by your doctor.

Exercise has been proven to help improve your mental health for a variety of different reasons. Here are just a few: 

  1. Hormones

    Getting in a good sweat actually causes your brain to release “happy hormones” known as endorphins. These endorphins have a similar effect to some antidepressant drugs – and when you exercise regularly you are regulating your body’s natural level of antidepressants.

    Another hormone that exercise can help regulate is adrenaline. Many people who suffer from anxiety describe feelings of wanting to “run away” from whatever they are feeling anxious about. This is a result of the literal adrenaline rush, also known as the “fight or flight” reaction, that they are experiencing. By working out, you are able to burn off some of that adrenaline and get back to a calmer state.

    These are just a few of the hormonal impacts of exercise that benefit your mental health. Check out our blog post on exercise and hormones for more on this topic. 

  2. Self-confidence

    Exercise and movement has been directly linked to feelings of self-confidence. After a workout, people tend to feel pretty proud of themselves for completing a tough challenge. It’s difficult to feel sad or anxious when you’re busy feeling like a badass!

  3. Getting out of your head and into your body

    When you are experiencing stress and your mind is racing out of control, moving your body helps you to “ground yourself” and become more present in the body. In other words, movement and exercise gets you out of your head and back into your body.

  4. Better sleep

    This ties in with point number 3 – when your mind is racing, it can be really difficult to fall asleep. If you can’t sleep, then you are also bound to be more irritable, unable to focus, and therefore unable to deal with whatever situations you are dealing with that may be causing your mental distress.

    Exercise not only makes you more tired, which helps keep you asleep, but by getting out of your head, you’ll be able to fall asleep faster.

What happens when you combine exercise, music, and community?

At Velocity, our workouts focus heavily on music and community (moving in sync) as well. Both of these elements have also been proven to have a positive influence on human happiness. During a Velocity workout, you will not only move your body, but you will be able to experience the power of music AND connect with other like-minded people at the same time.

In other words, a Velocity workout is one of the best things you can do to feel great! 

So come sweat off the blues with us!

Now that you know how powerful a velocity workout can be, what are you waiting for? Book your spot now!