In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to kick of May with an article that details just how exercise can impact your mental health. I, myself, have struggled with mental health. Last year, I left a very abusive marriage. Abusive in almost any way you can think – physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, etc. Throughout my time in that marriage, I used exercise as a reprieve for my mind. And since leaving, exercise has been a huge part of therapy for me. There are so many benefits of exercise for mental health, but I’m just going to address a few here.
1. Exercise Reduces Stress
When we exercise, our brain releases chemicals that help us regulate how we deal with stress. If you’ve ever felt like your mind is clearer after going for a walk or a run – that’s exercise at work on your mental health! Therapists often prescribe exercise to help ease feelings of anxiety and depression.
2. Exercise Boosts Confidence
Studies have shown that those who participate in exercise have a great sense of self-esteem and self-worth than those who do not. Many moms lose a lot of confidence postpartum. You are in a body you don’t recognize that isn’t acting how it did pre-pregnancy and now life revolves around a child or children. Exercise can be a great way for you to take some time for yourself and rebuild that self-esteem.
3. Exercise Improves Sleep
Running on empty as far as sleep goes? Exercise can help! When exercise is regularly incorporated into your lifestyle, you are typically able to get more deep sleep every night. Sleep also ties in with stress reduction – because you have been able to clear your mind and reduce some stress, you will also be able to fall asleep more easily when you are ready to go to bed.
Here at Mom Gets Moxie, I want to remove the stigma that mental health issues have. People who struggle with mental health issues are so often misunderstood or made to feel “less than”. Not here. You have a home here. No matter what your goals are, I want to help you achieve them and be the happiest, healthiest you that you can be!