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How Exercise Improves Emotional Health

Want to Feel better? Work Out at Our Pittsburgh Gym!

Feeling sad, anxious, or depressed? Perhaps the very last thing you want to do is exercise. Certainly, when we are feeling these things, motivation is hard to come by. But, if you can get over the hurdle and find time rev up your heart for just a few moments, you will find that exercise can make a significant difference in your overall mood and sense of well-being.

Depression has been ranked as the leading cause of disability in the United States, resulting in lost work productivity and costing billions of dollars in medical treatments. Scientific research, however, offers hope and suggests one key to supporting our mental health is as simple as exercising a few times a week. A growing body of research supports the efficacy of exercise as helpful in the treatment of depression. According to the Official Journal of the Association of Medicine and Psychiatry, evidence suggests that exercise has shown great promise in alleviating symptoms of depression.

Interestingly, these findings suggest that the focus should be on frequency of exercise, rather than duration or intensity. In other words, a brisk walk or bike ride four or five times a week, can be preferable to a hard-hitting cardio workout once or twice a week. Truly though, any exercise is preferable to none when it comes to boosting overall mood. Consider devoting 15 or 20 minutes a day to physical output, a bike ride, or dancing, for maximal mood-improving impact.

High intensity exercise is known to release “feel-good” endorphins, think runner’s high. During times of high activity, these natural chemicals flood your body. But even low intensity workouts will, over time, result in the release of certain proteins that are beneficial to brain function.

Bottomline? Exercise to feel better. Not only will your overall mood improve with regular exercise, but your entire body will also benefit from your efforts. You will be protecting your heart against disease, lowering your risk of diabetes, improving your blood pressure, and at night you will likely rest more soundly.

Exercise at our gym in Pittsburgh: it’s just what the doctor ordered!