Exercise And The Brain (A Therapist View)

Exercise is so much a part of your daily routine that you become despondent when the gym is closed for holidays or bad weather. — Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

We all know that there are specific individuals who love working out. These individuals find it amusing to go to the gym every day. We sometimes call them “gym rats” because of the kind of workouts they often do. Not to mention the type of diet they include in the process as well. Sometimes, we get to see them have a light jog and eat a power bar while resting. Yes, these people’s daily routine can be annoying for such reasons. However, their exercising habit may be on to something when it comes to mental health. That is the reason why a therapist, psychologist, physiologist, and other medical professionals are not bothered with them at all. They support these people’s habit wholeheartedly. But why do you think they do?

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Everything We Need To Know About Exercise

We all know that exercise can significantly help out with weight problems. That is whether for gaining or shedding some pounds. It is also beneficial for strength and endurance enhancement. Physically, the benefits of exercise are pretty much obvious. The truth is, even a 30-minute of moderate physical activity per day can show significant overall improvement. It does not only keep the weight down but also sustains better heart development. With that particular help in the heart, it makes all the system in the body more useful.

With all the positive things we know that exercise can do physically, the psychological effect is as equally as compelling. That is because those people we see working out every day have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to those sedentary individuals. There is research that shows that if we frequently exercise for 30 minutes a day, we become less susceptible to mental health problems. That is because the physical activity releases endorphins to the brain. It creates a sense of well-being. It makes us feel highly energized inside and out. Along with exercise giving us pumped up endorphins, it also supports the increase of the brain’s alpha waves activity in an impressive way. Those are the kinds of brain chemicals that are useful in clearing out our mind from toxicities so it can focus.

Good body awareness is difficult to measure scientifically, but can teach us how to recognize a strenuous workout that, instead of leading to pain and injury, improves performance, muscle balance, and everyday functionality. — Pirkko Markula Ph.D.

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The Roadblock Ahead

The whole idea of exercise is good, but not all people can hit it and love it in an instant. Some people look at the habit as a dull and unworthy thing to do every day. Well, we can’t blame those people. Perhaps they do not like the whole experience of getting too much sweaty. Maybe they are uncomfortable working and moving their bodies from one direction to another. They might not feel to agree with the whole “fun and exciting” moment of exercise and appreciate it the way we do. Perhaps they do not have time to do even a single set of crunches, and the list goes on. But that is the reason why they need to understand it further. People need to get their brain pumping through the help of focus building exercise.

Helpful Tips To Working Out

To be able to engage ourselves with exercise, we must first set aside at least 30-minutes of our time to process one particular activity. We can start a couple of jumping jacks, jogs in place, a few dancing steps, sit-ups, and so on. We can decide an activity that should keep our heart rates up as long as it is nothing too intimidating. After the 30-minute workout, we can rest and start writing about it.

If you have some privacy, consider pairing your feel-good song with a dance party, your best air guitar, or air drumming for increased physical movement which will allow for the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. The movement combined with the music packs an extra punch. — Michelle Kukla, PsyD

Creating a cast journal is essential in keeping track of everything. It does not need to be written explicitly with concise details, though. It can just be anything we want to write, especially the feeling we have during our workout. No, it is not about how the body felt, but rather what is inside our minds. Say, are we enjoying the activity? Are we feeling less irritated? Are we making emotional progress? It could be anything that sets our mind to mental clarity.

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After the first time exercise engagement and journal casting, the repetition should take place. We need to try and do it every day for one at least one week. From there, we continue the process of evaluating ourselves. But this time, in a more broad state. We can check how exercise affects our moods within the period and recognize how it possible hit success. If there is an emotional betterment after a few weeks, then it is more likely that we should work out on a more regular basis.

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