Cheaper Than Therapy

In my opinion, after a great diet, exercising is by far the best thing you can do for your body. It keeps your heart healthy, energy levels go up, it increases your metabolism, and you’ll likely even sleep better. All of these things are good, but none of this is news. There is one thing that people don’t often think about when they ponder the benefits of exercise though: your mental health.

The Feel-Good Phenomenon

Ever notice how great you feel immediately after a good workout? It usually happens to me as I -- conveniently -- pass the pie shop on my way home from the gym; I get that post workout euphoria and I feel like a million bucks. All my problems. wait, what problems? I worry less, my self-esteem is at an all-time high, and I want to keep doing good things for my body. Also, the pies in the window of that pie shop I just passed seem much less tempting as they would have been, had I just left the office after a stressful day at work.

One Thing Leads To Another

We all have stress -- even Kim Kardashian. Actually, especially Kim Kardashian because she’s married to Kanye, but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. That can be work, school, family life, and even exercise. Stress can often lead to anxiety and depression, or those two villains can show up on their own, but there’s good news. The amazing ball of nerves inside your head called your brain is loaded with chemicals ready to magically (or scientifically, however you choose to look at it) elevate your mood. These neurotransmitters, namely endorphins and endocannabinoids, swim around your head making you happy... but how do you access them?

Simple. Not Easy.

Exercise. It’s as simple as that. Studies have shown that exercising at heart rate intensities between 30% and 70% of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes is proven to increase your brain’s production of said mood-enhancing chemicals. Exercising beyond 30 minutes has also been proven to have positive effects on cognitive function.

So if all it takes is a little exercise to enhance your mood, why is it so hard to get started? We’re humans; we hate change and motivation is key. Take the plunge though. You’ll literally be happy you did. And hey, exercise is a lot cheaper than therapy.

When it comes to mental health, exercise can help. If you think you’re in a crisis, contact a professional.
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Tim kellerman
Sunday, June 5th, 2016 at 7:59PM
"Studies have shown that exercising at heart rate intensities between 30% and 70% of your maximum heart rate - See more at:"
Can you explain the 30% part of the above sentence? If my maximum heart rate is 170 then 30% would be 51.
Lori Farrow
Thursday, April 7th, 2016 at 10:37AM
Very inspirational!
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