No matter what mood someone is in when they walk through the gym’s front door, one thing that can always be noted is the improvement to said mood when they leave.
We all know that exercise is good for the body, improving strength, fitness, mobility and blood flow to name a few and we all kinda know it’s just as good for your mind and brain function but – how good I hear you ask? Brace yourselves, here comes the science bit:
Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger. They help relieve pain and stress.
Endorphins are only one of many neurotransmitters released when you exercise. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Scientists think that physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in many ways and has been proved to help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety. Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.
If you are lucky enough to have not experienced mental illness, then granted it would be difficult to understand and to explain. Many people who have suffered a mental illness class it as a disability and being able to exercise is a great way to begin to overcome it.
Just getting to the gym for some people (whether you suffer mentally or not) is sometimes a massive achievement so, if you’re one of those people and you made it to the gym then well done you!!
You may feel like the gym is the last place you need or want to be, but we promise you, even if you only spend twenty minutes or so doing some light cardio you will thank yourself. There is always someone that cares about you and your wellbeing in the gym and someone who is willing to offer support and advice to a wealth of issues. Who knows, you may even meet people that end up becoming good friends.
If you find yourself lost in the world of mental health you will see it is a lonely confusing place and the issues that arise from mental health problems are incredibly hard to process, compartmentalise and try to get over.
There is no shame in suffering with mental health issues and turning to the gym really can have a positive impact on your day and make a huge difference. Whether you are someone who wants to plug their headphones in, block out the world and smash it out or someone who prefers the social side of being in a gym, we are always happy to see you!
We promise you will feel more positive, calm and brighter when you leave. Never be ashamed or feel embarrassed.