Do you often look in the mirror, focus on your (perceived) imperfections and think “I should really get back to the gym”?
Maybe more of us would be even more motivated to exercise if we realised just how much it benefitted, not just our bodies, but also our brains as well. Several of our psychologists have been studying the relationship between exercise and mental performance.
In his book “Spark”, Dr John Ratey provides this added motivation by revealing startling new evidence about how exercise enhances the performance of the human brain.
Here are 5 good reasons why your brain will thank you for taking that trip to the gym:
- Exercise releases growth factors that literally cause your brain to grow.
- Exercise ‘cools down’ the part of your brain that is activated when you feel stressed.
- Exercise increases cognitive performance.
- Exercise facilitates your brain’s ability to function at its peak capacity.
- Exercise releases neurotransmitters that help you to feel happier.
If you can see yourself in statements below, perhaps you may be struggling with a depressed mood.
- Feelings of emptiness
- Watching others enjoying life, but not feeling any enjoyment yourself
- Feeling as though you don’t want to be around others
- Noticing changes to your appetite; either eating more or not wanting to eat
- Having trouble remembering things or finding it difficult to concentrate
- Struggling to get organised or accomplish tasks
- Lacking belief and confidence in yourself
- Being overly concerned about what others may think of you
- Pretending everything is okay when the reality is you’re tired and fed up with life
- Feeling irritated by people you perceive as having little regard for you
- Being negative with respect to both your thoughts and comments
- Waking during the night thinking negative thoughts
- Feeling numb, hopeless or worthless
- Feeling isolated and cut off from the world
- Having thoughts about ending your life
Resource: Northern beaches mental health care