by Bethany Eggers, LPC-MH
In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the demands of everyday life, leaving little time for self-care. However, studies have shown that incorporating exercise into our daily routines can have a profound impact on our mental health. Exercise not only improves our physical health, but it can also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem and confidence, and improve overall cognitive function.
Exercise impacts mental health in various ways. For one, it promotes the growth of new brain cells which can improve cognitive function and memory. Exercise promotes the release of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. A study by the American Psychological Association found that you get a mood-enhancement effect within 5 minutes of moderate exercise.
While all types of exercise can benefit mental health, certain types are particularly effective. Aerobic exercises, such as running and cycling, have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, can improve self-esteem and cognitive function. Lastly, mind-body exercises, such as yoga and tai chi, can promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
The mental health benefits of exercise are numerous. If the thought of jumping into a high intensity workout class sounds intimidating, step outside and enjoy a stroll to your local park. Better yet, rather than jumping in your car to run an errand, enjoy the scenery with a leisurely walk instead.
At all four of our locations - River Counseling Services in Platte, Sioux Falls Psychological Services, and Stronghold Counseling Services in Sioux Falls and in Yankton, our mission is this- we meet you where you are, offering hope. You may schedule an appointment at the Platte office at 605-337-3444 or meet with one of our Sioux Falls or Yankton based therapists from your computer, smartphone, or in person at any of our clinics. To schedule an appointment, please call 605-334-2696.