Why is exercising good for us emotionally?

Apr 30, 2023, 3:23 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2023, 3:22 pm




SALT LAKE CITY – We all know that exercising is good for physical health, but what about mental health? Why is exercising good for us emotionally?

In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Studio 5 KSL’s Health and Wellness Contributor Miki Eberhardt to discuss how exercising can improve our daily mood, as well as our overall mental health.

How does exercise affect our mind?

“We all know that we get these natural endorphins that get flowing, that just raise our spirits, that help us to be able to see things in a brighter light… It gives us a moment where we can kind of take our mind off of worries,” Eberhardt said.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re listening to music or watching a show while you’re walking on the treadmill. During that time you can really draw your mind away from the things that you’re worried about on a day-to-day basis.

Another way that exercise improves our mental health is by boosting our confidence. For example, tackling a type of workout that’s fairly difficult to do can help us feel accomplished.

“One of the other things I think about, too, is finding an outlet of how we can cope with things in a healthier way,” Eberhardt said.

If you are going through stress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental struggles, exercising can be a helpful coping mechanism.

However, it’s important to note that it is not the cure for everything.

How does exercise affect how we sleep?

Maria noticed after she started working out more and more that she was also getting much better and healthier sleep.

“This is an amazing result of even minimal exercise,” Eberhardt said.

There are several studies that show that even just 20 to 30 minutes of exercise can significantly improve sleep overall.

“Not only does it help us sleep better, but it often helps us get to sleep faster,” Eberhardt said.

It’s important to realize that it doesn’t have to be a super long workout.

Listen to the full episode below to hear the rest!

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Why is exercising good for us emotionally?