Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. But did you know that your brain gets just as much benefit from your fitness routine as the rest of your body? Here are 4 ways that your workout routine helps your mental health.
- Lower Stress and Anxiety
For many, stress is an ever-present part of our lives. Lower-impact exercises have been found to lower stress hormones in our bodies while also increasing endorphins and GABA – “happy” brain chemicals that boost our moods. Try one of MINT’s yoga, pilates, or barre classes to reduce stress levels.
- Better Sleep
Quality sleep has innumerable benefits for our mental health. Getting just 30 (or more!) minutes of exercise a day can help increase “slow wave” or deep sleep – the time when our brains and bodies best recover. Some people have reported, however, that exercise too late in the day can interfere with their ability to fall asleep, so try to fit those moderate to intense workouts in at least 2 hours before bedtime. MINT’s morning and evening class offerings are for all schedules, whether you’re an early rise or a night owl!
- Sharper Focus and Concentration
Studies have found that aerobic exercise can have immediate benefits to concentration. Even just 20 minutes of a heart-pumping activity can increase your ability to focus and even lead to better memory.
- Social Benefits
Group exercises are a great way to meet new people and connect socially. MINT’s stellar instructors often encourage partner exercises. Try committing to the same class each week – before you know it, you’ll know your fellow gym-goers’ names and maybe even make some new friends.