Benefits to Exercise
Common Forms and Benefits

There are so many benefits to exercise. Exercise is known to be one of the BEST stress reducers! It's not only good for the body but it's also good for the mind . Exercise burns negative stress hormones, therefore reducing the negative effects stress has on the body and mind.

The American Council on Exercise offers a free information sheet called "How Exercise Can Control Stress"

Exercise is important in your recovery process because it will help your body rid itself of excess adrenaline. Your body can only produces so much adrenaline each day and if you are taking steps towards recovery, exercise will help burn off some of that adrenaline so that the excess does not follow you into your practice sessions.

Exercise also increases your natural brain chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins create a "feel good" feeling that produces a sense of well-being that is positive and energizing. Endorphins also act as your body's natural pain reliever. So it is safe to say that exercise not only helps the mind but the body as well.

Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, diminish feelings of anxiety and depression, and is also known to improve your sleep cycle at night. Along with these benefits, exercise offers other benefits that can have positive effects on your health. Some of these would be, lowering blood pressure, strengthening your bones and muscles, strengthening your heart, and reducing unwanted body fat.

Even though exercise has been proven to help with anxiety and depression, it is common for people to underestimate it's power for health and well-being. It is unfortunate that many overlook the long term benefits . Exercising is most likely the last thing you feel like doing when your anxious, and probably more dreaded if you are depressed, but it is so important no matter how you look at it. You have to see it as one of the most important tools in your "recovery toolbox". It is one of those tools that can help you find recovery and keep you balanced when managing the stress in your life.

There are many different forms of exercise that can help alleviate the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. It's important to find an exercise that you enjoy. If you enjoy the exercise, you will be more likely to make it a part of your new healthy lifestyle. Exercise can be fun!

If you have pre-existing health problems or even if it has been a long time since you were on an exercise routine, it is a good idea that you discuss any new routine with your physician. Getting approval from your physician will help you feel more at ease when doing something new that is physically challenging.

Some common forms of exercise include :

Aerobic Exercise - such as dancing, hiking, tennis, walking (brisk), swimming, cycling, basketball, jumping rope, rebounding, etc....

Flexibility Exercises - such as Yoga and Thai Chi

Strengthening and Toning Exercises - such as free weights, sit-ups, pull-ups....etc. A really great strengthening and toning exercise is Pilates. Not only does this strengthen your muscles using your stomach as your core muscle it exercises your heart and helps build balance and flexibility.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercises - These exercises are meant to help train your mind and body to come together and train your muscles to relax on command. This exercise is extremely important in helping you overcome an anxiety disorder. Please do not overlook this exercise, it is highly effective when done regularly. To learn more, visit Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Isometric Exercises - These exercises use the muscles in an isolated way. They are easily applied while in everyday situations, including driving, sitting, etc. Please visit Isometric Exercises for some ideas on how to use these exercises effectively.

Meditation and/or Visualization - If, for some reason, you are unable to use any of the above suggested forms of exercise you can practice the exercise of Meditation and visualization. As with progressive muscle relaxation, the more you practice this form of exercise, the better you will become. Meditation and visualization are extremely customizable to fit your lifestyle and even your religious, spiritual background. Many people think of meditation as being Yoga and although this is one form of meditation, meditation has goes further back in time than you think. To learn more, visit Visualization Exercises.

There are many benefits to exercise!

Return from Benefits to Exercise to Sound-Mind.Org Homepage