There is a saying that goes, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” It is a common tendency to see the brain as something completely separate from the body and to think that the only way to build it up is by reading complicated bodies of text and solving increasingly difficult problems and puzzles. While this approach undoubtedly has its benefits, it will, however, surprise you to know just how good physical exercise is for your mind as well.
Believe it or not, exercise can help to maintain the sharpness of the mind. Simple workouts done regularly to exercise your cardiovascular system and get yourself sweaty not only keeps your body trim and fit, but your mind as well. It increases the production of cells in your brain, which would result in better decision-making, a more retentive memory as well as an improvement in overall performance.
And this is only just the beginning.
If you suffer from depression or anxiety or just haven’t been having the best day, a short run can be a real good pick-me-up. I understand that half an hour on the treadmill isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun time but trust me when I say that you will come out of that ordeal feeling like a million bucks or like a phoenix rising from the ashes, whichever description you fancy. Basically, you’ll feel great, thanks to the endorphins, also known as the Happiness Hormone, released during exercise. Definitely makes all the effort and pain worth it, doesn’t it?
Another benefit that physical exercise has on the mind is that it improves self-confidence. A bit of a no-brainer but people tend to forget and underestimate how good working out makes you feel about yourself as a whole. On a physical level, you’d start to see your body in a more positive light, which boosts self-esteem as well as self-love. And then there’s also something about the feeling of accomplishment you’d get from completing a HIIT circuit or being able to lift heavier weights that makes you feel like with enough willpower, you can do anything, which, in my opinion, is reason enough to start an exercise regimen.
While we bask in the light of our glorious youth, most of us take the strength of our brain for granted. We tend to overlook the fact that we will eventually reach a time and age when our minds will begin to degenerate. That’s where physical exercise comes into play and prevents our brains from becoming stagnant and deteriorating too quickly. The earlier you start exercising regularly, the longer you get to enjoy being able to perform basic cognitive skills to the best of your ability and live your life to the absolute fullest. On the outside, exercising seems like something purely physical but it isn’t just all muscle and sweat. No, it’s so much more than that and if you let it, it can truly be something quite remarkably life-changing.