The positive impacts of exercise on the body are visibly apparent: people who exercise frequently will watch their waistlines drop, their muscles tone, and their endurance improve. But just as significant are some of the hormonal effects that working out has on the brain, impacting stress management, appetite, and mood.
Exercise and Stress
According to the Huffington Post, exercise leads to increased levels of neuroepinephine, which enhances cognitive function. Facing stressful events with a clear mind can help you solve them more calmly and effectively. In addition, boosting serotonin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels can improve brain plasticity and neuroregeneration, helping the brain recover from stress-induced damage.
Exercise and Appetite
Both aerobic exercise and non-aerobic exercise like lifting can suppress your hunger. The American Physiological Association reports that lifting weights can reduce the levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. Aerobic exercise, in addition to reducing ghrelin, has also been shown to lead to increased levels of peptide YY, a hormone that reduces appetite. Aerobic exercise, then, is especially effective in managing hunger.
Exercise and Mood
For people suffering from mild to moderate depression, exercise may help to improve symptoms. Harvard Health Publications describes multiple studies in which exercise helps to alleviate depressive symptoms, showing also that the efficacy of exercise is statistically equivalent to those brought about by antidepressant pills and that its effects are even more long-lasting.
Choosing to exercise on a regular basis can have a dramatic impact on both physical and mental health. In addition to the multiple physical benefits exercise provides, the hormonal cascade it initiates helps you to manage stress, feel positive, and reduces cravings. For more information about the benefits of incorporating fitness into your daily routine, contact us now.