This Is Why Sport Is Good For Your Mental Health

Published on 08/23/2022

In our modern world, we are surrounded by numerous sources of anxiety and stress. Fires, floods, water shortages, pandemics… all these worries can deprive us of sleep and trigger depression. Did you know that exercise is a natural way to manage stress? You can use exercise effectively to reduce stress, sleep better, and improve your cognitive abilities. We’ll tell you how!

Old People Working Out

This Is Why Sport Is Good For Your Mental Health

Sport For Better Sleep

Do you often find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep? Exercise is one of the most natural sleep aids. dr Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., medical director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital, says, “We have strong evidence that exercise actually does help you fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.” The studies also show that exercise supports the phase of sleep in which your brain can recover and memories are formed. This in turn supports your mental health.

Sports For Stress Management

Stress is your body’s response to a threatening situation, Over time, your body learns to deal with stress in certain ways. If you’ve become accustomed to not-so-healthy coping mechanisms like lack of sleep, too much sugar, etc., exercise can help retrain your body. In addition, exercise acts as a natural mood enhancer thanks to the release of feel-good hormones. “Studies in humans and animals show that physical activity improves the way the body deals with stress because exercise alters hormonal balance. Also, exercise affects neurotransmitters in the brain (like dopamine and serotonin) that affect our mood and behavior,” explains Dr. Jackson. Simply put, when your body learns to cope with the stress it experiences during exercise, it can apply what it learns to future stressful situations.

Sport Against Depression

Depression is probably the best-known mental illness; it affects many people. The best way to describe this condition is to start with what it is NOT: just a sad emotional state. Depression is an extremely debilitating illness with a wide range of symptoms that has serious consequences for those affected. Today we know that exercise and mental health are closely related. It is well known that physical activity releases endorphins – the happy hormones. There is a change in the chemistry in your brain that increases your sense of well-being. Thanks to these endogenous mood enhancers, just 15 minutes of exercise can ensure that you successfully reduce stress and improve your mental health.

Sport As Brain Training

Not only does our body change over the years, but so do our cognitive abilities. Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to train them and keep our brains fit into old age. Along with eating a nutritious diet, healthy sleeping habits, and avoiding substances like tobacco and alcohol, exercise plays an important role in training our brain. It is quite interesting how different types of physical activity affect our cognitive abilities.

Sport For More Energy

When you’re tired at the end of a long day, exercising can seem like an insurmountable challenge. It may sound paradoxical, but your workout can and will actually help you to replenish your energy reserves. Studies show that short periods of physical activity significantly improve both mood and energy levels. Of course, regular physical activity is better for your health and general well-being than sedentary physical activity.