Have you ever felt calm after a good workout? That isn’t just a coincidence. Research has shown that exercise for 20 minutes was effective in reducing a state of anxiety.
Your body’s nerves are directly connected to your muscles, sending sensory information to your brain about the state of your tissues and muscles.
Exercises’ Impact on Your Mood
People who exercise regularly report better mental health and well-being. Experts recommend that adults should exercise for about 2.5-5 hours of moderate physical activity or 1.25-2.5 hours of vigorous physical activity a week.
When one exercise, chemicals in the brain are released. These chemicals include serotonin, stress hormones, and endorphins. Exercise also helps you to sleep better. In addition, exercise can help to improve your sense of control, coping ability, and self-esteem. Physical activity can also be an outlet for your frustrations.
The Mind’s Impact on the Body
Tuning into your body is beneficial while you are exercising. However, depending on the type of exercise you are doing, there are many benefits to taking a few seconds to scan your body mentally.
These benefits include:
- A better perceptiveness of what is occurring in your body
- More awareness of where your limitations are
- The ability to challenge yourself safely
- Improved results
- Reduced risk of injury
If you are targeting a particular muscle group during your workout, feeling that muscle group’s sensations can help you stretch, relax, or grow your muscles. This feedback can also help to improve your form and create muscle memory. Muscle memory will help you connect to that muscle again in future workouts.
It is important to remember that your body and mind are connected and can impact each other. Meet yourself where you are, and work towards your fitness goals using a mind-body approach. Remember to examine how you feel after, while, and before your workout and take that information as important feedback to understand yourself better.