If you’ve tried to lose weight before and found you were depressed and feeling deprived after just a short time, you probably weren’t exercising, too. As a personal trainer, I emphasize that the exercises are workouts for mind and body. You see, exercise is the great stress buster. No matter who you are, there’s stress in your life. Not all of it has to be earth shaking to take its toll. Sometimes, just being in a super noisy room can create a lot of mental stress that translates to the body the same way as a wild animal chasing you would.
Stress causes many changes that used to serve a purpose.
The body undergoes changes when you’re stressed. That’s because at one time, stress meant danger, where you had to run or fight. It’s called the flight or fight response. It changed the blood flow to help you run faster and sent adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine through your body. Those make your heart pound faster, your muscles tense and you breathe faster and maybe even sweat. These hormones also shut down some of the non-critical immediate functions in the body, such as the immune system, digestive, growth and reproductive system. If you’re continuously under stress, hormones like cortisol can affect the immune system, increase blood pressure, lower the libido, throw blood sugar out of whack and has the potential for developing visceral fat, the most dangerous kind around the abdomen.
Exercise actually creates some cortisol.
While you’ll burn off cortisol levels during exercise, it does boost the cortisol levels for a short time. That enables the body to burn fat. If you exercise regularly, your body will produce less cortisol on a day to day basis. That’s because regular exercise helps reduce the amount in your bloodstream. You’ll have fewer signs and symptoms of stress…and even exercise away some of that belly fat that’s so hard to burn.
Your body will start to look fabulous, but you’ll also find your spirits lifted.
You don’t need any explanation of how exercise helps you look great. It helps you shed fat and tone and firm muscle tissue. Exercise also boosts your level of “happy hormones,” such as endorphins, which act like morphine, without any potential for addiction. Exercise has been found beneficial for treating many different mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, stress and even dementia.
- You’ll love how you look after a few months of exercising and all the energy you’ll have. It boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem, which is another way it helps your mind and spirit.
- You’ll feel good and sleep better at night. There’s no doubt about it, both help the body and mind.
- When you exercise regularly, it helps regulate blood sugar levels. The super highs with the scary angry lows will disappear and your mental state will level out nicely.
- Exercise helps you think clearer and improves cognitive functioning. Not only does that help you at work, it makes you feel better about yourself and helps you get tasks accomplished quicker.