This Article is About
mental health conditions
abdominal exercises
exercise session
brain cells
stress hormone
physical stress
new brain
calming the mind
exercise program
physical illness
oxytocin
cortisol
Exercise May Be The Key To Beating The Blues: How Exercise Boosts Psychological Health
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Exercise May Be the Key to Beating the Blues: How Exercise Boosts Psychological Health

A runner comes in, coated in the sheen of sweat and smiling broadly. They know about the runner's high. All exercise, regardless of the type or the intensity has the propensity to cause that same high, caused by the release of endorphins, more than forty of them in fact. Topping the list are serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrene. It may also cause a release of oxytocin in some people, especially those who have had the so called exercise orgasm, a rare phenomenon which typically happens to women during abdominal exercises. Those hormones all perform several tasks including calming the mind and relieving the sensation of physical stress.But, exercise may do a lot more than just those tasks.

Psychologically, exercise is known to boost mood by allowing the exerciser to ignore or think past their stresses or problems at that moment. Once they are done, they get a major sense of accomplishment which may increase their own self esteem. People who have depression and other mental health conditions are likely to have better outcomes from their therapy when they use exercise as part of their health care. Even walking in fresh air has been shown to provide great physical help for those people.

Exercise has also been shown to increase the birth of new brain cells which are often killed off during times of physical illness or stress. Stress causes an increase in the release of a stress hormone called cortisol which increases the risk of weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. Exercise can help fight that stress response in most people.

The mood boosting effect of exercise may be temporary at first for most people. But, once it becomes more of a routine, the body starts to expect that release of endorphins and may even start craving it. They may become anxious, depressed or aggravated when they are forced to miss an exercise session or cut their exercise short.

A new exerciser, especially one who has been sedentary for a long period, should start a new exercise program slowly, easing their way into their efforts instead of going full force on their first day. That sudden jump into exercise increases the risk of a number of problems including physical pain and injuries which may keep them from exercising in the future. Walking is a perfect way to start and doable for most people. After walking for a while, exercisers can increase their time, distance or speed.


Street Talk

Good article. Several years ago, my husband and I were technically homeless, staying with family after being evicted from our apartment. I started running, and it really helped. I wish I had known about Street Articles then!! :) That would have helped, too.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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