5 Ways Cardio Aids Mental Health

My daily routine has been a little different lately. I’ve been waking up early, taking my Neuroscience, and putting in some time on our elliptical machine.

The first couple of weeks were brutal. I could barely make it 15 minutes before it felt like I was going to die. Things slowly got better until I eventually could make it through 60 minutes on the equipment.

Cardio helps with mental health in a lot of ways. Here are the benefits I’ve experienced since changing my routine. 

1. Decreased Stress

Exercise takes away the stress. When you increase your heart rate, it stimulates the production of norepinephrine and other neurohormones that improve mood and cognition. You’ll notice improvements in how you respond to stressful situations.

2. Depression Assistance

Frequent exercise boosts your mood. That helps to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. As the endorphins start working their way through your body, the chemicals bring feelings of happiness.

3. Increased Self-Esteem

When you exercise regularly and eat right, it’s much easier to feel good about yourself. You should love who you are when you see the reflection in the mirror.

4. Improved Sleep

Exercising can help you get the rest that you need. It regulates body temperature, calms the mind, and regulates your circadian rhythm.

5. Thought Power

Regular exercise boosts a person’s brainpower through a process called neurogenesis. It prevents memory loss while offering more strength to your hippocampus. 

I’d encourage everyone to put in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. You’ll feel a lot better when you get that body moving!