Mental Benefits of Physical Activity

We are always told, that we should go outside. That we should do sports. That it is unhealthy for us if we do not keep moving, even if we are not in bed all day, but actually working on a desk for example.

I am the kind of person, who really does not want to believe that sports is something one has to do even if one’s body is in good shape. I love binging TV all day or sitting around studying, doing hardly anything physical. But I have found out that working out is not just about the direct health of our body. To me it is about control. On one hand it shows, how much pain I can endure, without having to stop. It wakes the ambitious side of me and that ambition transfers to everything I am doing. It helps cope with frustration and frankly balancing the work mind and body do, helps me deal with emotions in general. Sure, when I am not stable, I will not feel stable, but I will feel like crying. But working out will help me stabilize myself.

But the most severe mental benefit I find, is that when I work out, I am forced to listen to my body. I have to take care of it. I have to focus, on how my body is. How I feel. And there is nothing but me and music for a little while. Even if I want to push it to that point, where I think it might break any second. Even if I start working out, because I am frustrated, or I plainly declare, that I hate myself. So even if my motivation to work out is to punish myself for… whatever it may be in that moment, in the end I will end up loving myself a little bit more. Because it connects me to my body. And all those feel-good hormones like Endorphins, Dopamine and Serotonin flooding our system will make us feel like we accomplished something.

Once I have worked out a few times a week, I get addicted to it. It boosts confidence. It balances our lives. And no one said we had to work out for an hour every day. I find that half an hour twice a week is perfectly enough and absolutely not so much that anyone could claim to not have the time for it. Note to self: work out more!

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