Do you know the psychological benefits of physical exercise?
Physical exercise offers wonderful benefits for our mental and emotional health, providing incredible psychological qualities. Do you want to discover them? Do not miss them.
Probably on more than one occasion, you have used the word physical exercise to refer to that moment of the day in which you spend time taking care of yourself as well as releasing tensions and endorphins.
Nowadays it is increasingly common for people to decide to start doing some type of physical exercise we have gone from sedentary to the boom of body care and healthy lifestyle habits. Functional training, Crossfit, popular races, triathlon are some of the activities that are carried out today.
Do you really know what the concept of physical exercise means?
Before this, it is good to know what meaning three words that we use in a common way but not always in the right context, which are: physical activity, physical exercise, and sport.
In the first place, when we refer to a physical activity we refer to any movement produced by the skeletal muscles (muscles that cover the skeleton) in a voluntary way that leads to an expenditure of energy.
When we name the term physical exercise we are referring to any physical activity that is previously planned and aimed at improving physical condition. However, there are many people who use the term “doing sports” when they want to refer to physical exercise. However, the word sport acquires the meaning of that physical activity that involves competition, either with rivals or against oneself and also has an entity that regulates it.
Based on these terms, the regular practice of physical exercise has shown to have beneficial effects on psychological health.
Thanks to a descriptive study through a survey, the association between the practice of physical exercise and healthy living habits and psychological well-being was analyzed. Two samples were used, one of them composed of 208 students belonging to the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and the other of 239 students of the University of Granada (Spain).
Participants completed a questionnaire on sociodemographic data, health and physical exercise, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and an abbreviated form of the Profile of Mood States (POMS).
The results obtained in both groups show that, while the reduced consumption of alcohol or tobacco and the absence of overweight are not associated with physical exercise, psychological well-being is associated with the regular practice of physical exercise, regardless of the type of exercise. of practiced exercise. Participants who exercise regularly tend to perceive a higher degree of health, lower stress level, and better mood.
For some time now we have been observing how researchers have focused on how physical exercise can improve our cognitive functions regardless of age or physical condition. Several studies like the one we mentioned earlier show that dedicating time for physical exercise produces many benefits at the mental level.
As psychiatrist John Ratey of the Harvard Medical School explains, “exercising regularly is good for humor, memory or learning.”
The interesting benefits of sport and physical exercise for your mind
We are going to delve more accurately into its benefits at the psychological level:
It promotes the release of endorphins: physical exercise produces chemicals of happiness, by doing so we release endorphins. Do you know what endorphins are? They are the chemical substances that produce the sensation of happiness and euphoria.
It favors the reduction of stress: we have all had a hard day at work or on a personal level, so freeing ourselves with a little physical exercise is ideal to release that accumulated stress during the day.
Social relationships: as your mood improves and the level of stress is controlled and released, we can also improve our relationships with others, as we feel more “calm”. We acquire an increase in self-confidence that will help us reach others more easily.
Self-esteem above: not only will you look better physically but internally you will also have a greater degree of satisfaction when you feel active, healthy and your self-esteem will be higher with it.
Goodbye anxiety: when doing physical exercise neurotransmitters are released that can help people who have a little anxiety to relax. We not only gain muscle mass with sports or burn calories. Do you know what neurotransmitters are? They are chemical substances responsible for transporting information from one neuron to another through the synapse.
Protection against cognitive deterioration: physical exercise helps our brain to keep functioning well with the passage of time. People who have been sedentary throughout their lives are more likely to suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Activate your most productive side: according to Schwarz and Hasson (2011), he came to the conclusion that people who practice physical exercise on a daily basis have more energy and are more productive than people who have a higher level of sedentary lifestyle. If we add the practice before entering work some people feel more active and focused on their workday.
Memory above: although it does not seem significant, physical exercise gives us the ability to continue learning new things, since it increases the production of hippocampal cells that are responsible for memory and learning.
Against anxiety and stress: Helps people who have quit smoking to control the stress and anxiety that this produces in addition to helping to recover lung capacity also helps reduce the side effects of withdrawal.
In summary, do you still hesitate to put on your sports clothes and go out to do some physical exercise?
With a moderate intensity and doing it about 3 times per week, you will begin to notice significant changes not only in your physical state but also in your mental well-being, greater tranquility, and personal satisfaction. Also, you probably feel more eager to take care of your nutrition and start adding healthier habits to your daily meals.