11 Psychological Benefits Of Physical Exercise: Improve Your Mind And Body

Practicing sports regularly acts as a natural antidepressant. Why does physical exercise improve people’s mood? Discover the psychological benefits of exercise.

The benefits of exercising

Both nutrition and physical exercise are two fundamental pillars to improve our quality of life. Health psychology has long studied the beneficial effects that regular exercise has on our physical and mental health. So what are the benefits of physical exercise for our mental health?

What are the psychological benefits of playing sports?

It is clear that doing physical exercise can help us improve our physical health, but what many people do not know is that moving also helps you have greater emotional balance. In this way, we can highlight the following psychological benefits of physical exercise

  1. We generate endorphins: On the one hand, one of the benefits of doing physical exercise is obtained due to the endorphins, also known as the happiness hormones. Endorphins are small proteins secreted by the pituitary gland. Their structure is very similar to that of opiates (morphine, opium, heroin…), but without the terrible side effects of these, they are secreted by the body itself. With this, we are able to generate substances that relieve pain naturally and that can produce pleasant sensations in us, in addition to making our immune system more effective. The sport causes an increase in endorphins in blood, they double with exercise. We can also achieve this effect with activities such as relaxation, laughter, contact with nature and massages. Although the increase in endorphins in these practices is not as high as with sports.
  2. Distraction effect: On the other hand, physical exercise also produces what we call distraction effect When a person is subjected to stressful events, whether internal or external, we find that activities such as meditating, resting, spending time with friends and physical exercise reduce anxiety levels after doing them. However, the beneficial effects last much longer over time with the practice of physical exercise. It also helps stop recurring thoughts at certain times.
  3. Improve your mood: Thanks to the action of endorphins, one of the benefits of physical exercise on a psychological level It is precisely the improvement of our mood, more precisely these hormones imply feeling happier and more relaxed.
  4. More social connection: When you start playing a team sport, people can learn more social skills and feel more connected to others. Therefore, performing this type of physical exercises As a team it can help us combat social anxiety, as well as open up more to others. Psychological benefits of playing sports
  5. More concentration: Although sometimes we think that physical exercise It doesn’t have much to do with the mental, in reality moving allows you to improve certain cognitive skills. One of them is concentration. In fact, different research in this regard has shown that physical activity allows us to increase our attention span.
  6. Reduces stress and depression: When you are physically active, your mind is distracted from stress and negative thoughts or feelings on a daily basis. This happens since exercise helps us reduce the levels of stress hormones in our body. So much so that one of the benefits of exercise on a psychological level It includes that practicing it daily allows us to keep both stress and depression at bay.
  7. Improve sleep habits: The physical activity and its benefits They also affect our quality of sleep. Thanks to the daily practice of a sport or exercise, people can fall asleep more quickly and deeply. This also means that by sleeping better, people are more cheerful and feel more energetic the next day.
  8. Increase your confidence and self-esteem: Do sports or different physical exercises Not only does it make us improve our body on a physical level, but it will also give us more confidence, security and personal self-esteem. As strength, endurance and our physical abilities improve, this also influences the feeling of mastery and control both mentally and physically. All of this leads to improving our pride and increasing our self-confidence. How doing a sport helps us
  9. Related to leadership traits: Different investigations around the physical exercise have shown that there is a correlation between participation in team sports and developing leadership qualities. This happens because these types of exercises involve having a ‘team mentality’, which makes us improve our social skills.
  10. Helps fight addictions: Studies have shown that those who exercise regularly They are also less likely to become addicted to certain habits such as smoking or consuming alcohol.
  11. Improves serious mental disorders: Another of the psychological benefits of sport It is that the regular practice of physical activity can help those people who suffer from a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. In fact, research into this type of benefits of physical exercise has shown that it improves symptoms such as loss of motivation or difficulties thinking in patients suffering from schizophrenia.
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As for the most suitable sports, any is beneficial, although it is recommended that they be aerobic. Those who raise the heart rate and need to increase the amount of oxygen, walking, swimming, racquet sports, running, skiing, etc. However, it is advisable to evaluate the type of exercise with your doctor, so that it takes into account , previous physical form, age, illnesses and physical limitations. Take care of your physical and mental health, the human body is the only place we have to live.