these are the benefits of sport for mental health

At a time when mental health occupies so many spaces, denying or underestimating the relationship that physical exercise can have in combating depression would be a mistake. Obviously, depression is a diagnosable pathology and, as has been proven countless times, it is not simply a low mood or a disease that the sufferer invents. Multifactorial pathology where there are, because from genetics to food can keep a certain causality in itthe truth is that sport can give us more than one hand and help us also check what the side effects of depression are, as we already explained in THE OBJECTIVE.

It is not about pretending to turn it into a remedy, nor is it the hand of a saint, but it certainly helps, as numerous studies have shown that directly link this healthy mens in healthy body Roman with scientific foundations. In addition, it must be outlined that it is not about turn the patient into an athletebut to improve small daily habits.

With this we remove the ghost of unrealistic objectives that could even have a counterproductive effect. We will return to this later, as well as the specification of pretending that nothing happens, as it happens with smiling depression: why faking happiness makes you worse than you think.

Within limits, training and physical exercise provide solid reasons to strengthen our mental health beyond our own body and it is in our brain, the epicenter of this discomfort, where a whole series of organic reactions will take place that guarantee that sport is health, both mental and physical.

An older man fights depression by playing sports
It is essential to adapt the type of sport to our physical condition. ©Freepik.

In a very summarized way, we could classify among the virtues of physical exercise when linked to mental health in reducing stress, improving self-esteem and mood, as well as going associated with better sleep quality. All this series of factors are concatenated through the stimulation and secretion of certain neurotransmitters, which will be in charge of improving this general state. As is evident, they vary depending on the intensity, but there are some names that you probably already know.

This is the case, for example, of endorphins, which are closely linked to exercise and their secretion is related to pain control, in addition to increasing the sensation of pleasure. For this reason, there is a a certain pleasure when doing sports. They are not alone, as is evident, since endocannabinoids are also present (of course, that prefix endo- indicates that they are internal) and it is also related to that high and to a certain euphoria after sports.

No less important is dopamine, another fundamental neurotransmitter to understand these processes of well-being, because it is key to understanding how we feel pleasure, although it does not stop there. Its functions are also related to heart rate control, sleep cycles, mood swings, and even tasks as trivial as learning, motivation, or attention.

The benefits of physical exercise on depression and mental health

A woman takes a break during physical exercise at home
Physical exercise against depression does not understand age. ©Freepik.

It is important to mention that even everyday factors such as stress can not only be alleviated or managed, but also prevented. No one would be surprised to see that stress can be combated by playing sports, as the example of going to the gym and discharging batteries can provide real relief from those stress levels, fighting cortisol and adrenaline.

No less relevant, although it may seem somewhat frivolous, is to verify that the level of self-esteem can be improved through exercise. Seeing ourselves better and having a healthier perception of our personal image is also linked to regular exercise and to better physical shape, beyond appearance, but also in small daily gestures. Bending over, getting up or sitting down are easy tasks that, with a bad physical form, they can get complicated and can also suppose a mental impairment for feeling incapable of something so obvious.

An adult man does physical exercise at home
Within our possibilities, we have to choose sports or activities that are as pleasant as possible. ©Freepik.

All this is also reversed in better sleep hygiene, in addition to an improvement in mood, generally accompanied by a reduction in negative thoughts. As is evident, the fatigue associated with physical exercise and the secretion of these hormones that we mentioned before, they also imply an impulse both to fall asleep and to improve its quality.

Among these evidences, although it is logical to understand that sport can be used to control numerous mental health pathologies, as is also the case with anxiety, the aforementioned stress or even ADHD. In any case, it should also be noted that certain routines are going to come in handy for manage these depressive episodes through physical exercise.

It is the case of finding the moment of the day that best adapt to our schedules, maintain manageable goals (we are not looking for extra frustration) or, above all, look for exercises that are fun and enjoyable. In this sense, motivation could also go hand in hand with do sports in a group or with a friendwhich will allow us to have something more in common, or even bet on personal training so that weakness does not affect our state of mind.

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