Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Ways a Healthy Body Leads to a Healthy Mind


Working to improve your physical appearance is a noble goal, but a strong body

isn't much use without a healthy mind. 

Fortunately, the two go hand in hand, and strengthening physical health can often 

lead to a strengthened mental state as well. Exercise is often suggested as part of a 

treatment plan for various types of mental illnesses, including common ones like 

depression.

Even those who feel their minds are healthy already can reap the benefits of 

improving their overall health. Here are five ways a healthy body leads to a healthy 

mind.

1. Reducing Stress
For those in high-pressure jobs or stressful circumstances, it can be difficult to

figure out how to best cope with the stress. One of the most common solutions

is engaging in exercise. During exercise, the brain releases a chemical called

norepinephrine that helps moderate stress response. Lower stress levels can help

improve concentration, mood and more.

2. Improving Mood
This is one of the most commonly cited reasons to exercise, and it's absolutely true.

The "exercise high" many people reference comes from a release of endorphins,

creating happy feelings. These endorphins are so powerful that they can, in some

cases, be even more effective than medication at treating depression.

3. Preventing Mental Decline
After a certain age, many people start worrying about cognitive decline. While

keeping in good physical health won't cure or treat degenerative diseases like

Alzheimer's, it absolutely helps prevent the typical cognitive decline that happens

as a natural result of aging. Physical activity can help preserve the hippocampus,

the part of the brain that focuses on memory and learning. Staying healthy now can

keep the brain mentally sharp later.

4. Improving Problem Solving
If a creative solution to a problem in life is needed, exercising while working

through the issue can help. There have been studies indicating that cardiovascular

activity not only improves brain performance overall but can actually create new

brain cells and increase body proteins that help with learning, problem solving and

decision making.

5. Increasing Memory
The hippocampus was mentioned earlier, but this part of the brain does more than

just prevent cognitive decline in old age. It also improves memory ability now, and

it produces more cells when the body is physically active. Studies show that adults

are able to retain more new information when participating in physical activity like

running sprints.

Anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle should be thinking about their mental

health as well. Lululemon founder and avid fitness buff Chip Wilson is quick to

point out that overall wellbeing comes from both the mind and body being in tip

top shape. Learning more about how the body and mind impact each other can be

motivation to turn that knowledge into positive action!

This is a guest post by Kate Hazel. Kate is a yoga and fitness enthusiast.


Note: This post may contain a sponsored/affiliate/referral link. Thank you for supporting this site!

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