Self-care plays an important role in our life. It comprises of the attitudes and actions that result into emotional, mental, physical, environment and spiritual health. Unlike other aspects of life, self-care does not need any medical intervention or professional consultation. It is something you do yourself. In this post, we are going to focus on the importance of exercise on self-care.
Reduces Stress and Depression
Exercise has been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. When you exercise, the body releases endorphins, feel-good brain chemicals. The endorphins work to improve your moods and emotional health.
In addition to improving emotional health, exercise acts as a distraction, taking your mind off your worries. This helps you get away from a continuous cycle of worries that worsens the symptoms of stress and depression. Research shows that exercise prevents the symptoms of depression and stress from coming back.
A lot of research has been done to find out whether exercise has an impact on disease prevention and cure. The results from these studies have found evidence that exercise actually helps in diseases prevention and cure. Those who tend to do moderate exercise for 20 to 30 minutes per day are more likely to stay healthy for a longer period than those who barely exercise.
Exercise increases the heart and breathing rate, strengthening the heart muscles and reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Exercise also increases the rate of metabolism in the body, reducing the likelihood of becoming obese and developing diabetes. The body’s immune system also becomes more powerful with exercise.
Improved Cognitive Function
Exercise not only benefits your physical and emotional health, it also improves your cognitive function. A study done at the University of British Columbia found that those who do exercises that increase the heart rate have bigger hippocampus than those who don’t.
The hippocampus is the part of that controls memory and learning. These benefits come from the ability of exercise to reduce insulin resistance and promote the growth of cells and new blood vessels in the brain. Middle age exercise has been found to reduce the onset of dementia in older adults.
Improved Self Confidence
Self-confidence is part and parcel of proper self-care. If you are confident in yourself, you will feel happier and satisfied in life. This will in turn reduce the levels of anxiety, depression and stress in your life. Exercise can actually improve self-confidence. It makes you feel better physically.
When you feel better physically, your emotional health improves. You become more confident in taking on new challenges and overcoming them. Exercise helps you look better. When you are happy with how you look, you free yourself from low self-esteem and body image issues. When you aren’t happy with how you look, you become more inadequate in life.
Exercise is an important aspect of self-care. You cannot afford to ignore it if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life. 20 to 30 minutes of simple exercises such as walking, riding a bicycle, yoga, swimming and running can really make a big difference. If done regularly, you will improve your mental function, reduce depression and anxiety, improve your level of confidence and prevent a host of diseases.