It is well proven that sport is beneficial to our physical health and we have written a lot about it. Studies have also proven that exercise can play a deeply therapeutic role in relieving psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, stress, and sleep problems.
Let’s break it down to explain how sport/exercise is so important to our mental health:
1. Prevention and Management of Depression and Anxiety
Exercise has been described as a “wonder medicine” in preventing and managing mental health. Many GPs now recommend physical activity for depression, either on its own or in combination with other treatments. When we are physically active, whether it is for a walk, running, gym or playing sports, our mind gets distracted by daily stress and thoughts. This helps us to avoid getting trapped in negative thoughts. Exercise actually lowers the level of stress hormones in your body and at the same time, it stimulates the production of endorphins. These are natural mood lifters that can keep stress and depression at bay.
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2. Stress Buster
Research on working adults shows that active people have lower rates of stress than less active people. Regular exercise also has the power to increase the concentration of norepinephrine, a chemical that may regulate the brain’s response to stress. On a simple level, doing physical activity frees the mind from compulsive thoughts and helps to relax the mind.
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3. Physical activity can also prevent cognitive decline, enhance brain power, sharpen memory.
Several studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) are at greater volume in people who do not exercise. Indirectly, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas often cause or contribute to cognitive impairment. We have listed these games most listed mentally challenging game you can play.
4. Exercise Improves Your Mood
Know the feeling of relaxation after doing physical exercise? This is because physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed. And if you play team sports there are added benefits as you also get social interaction and engagement with teammates.
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5. Better Self-Esteem
Physical activity has a big impact on our self-esteem – that’s how we feel about ourselves and our perceived self-worth. It is a leading indicator of mental well-being. People with better self-esteem can deal with stress better and have improved relationships with others. Young people who develop athletic skills feel more positive about their bodies and their physical abilities. Therefore, their self-esteem improves.
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6. Sport Helps You Sleep
Sports and other types of physical activity improve sleep quality. They do this by helping you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Better sleep can improve your mental outlook the next day, as well as your mood. Whatever you choose to do, the more active you are during the day, the more likely you are to relax and fall asleep at night.
Just be careful not to indulge in the game too late in the day. Evening exercise within a few hours of bedtime can make you too energized to sleep!
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