Mental fitness refers to a state of psychosocial well-being, it means having a positive sense of how we feel, think, and act, which improves our ability to enjoy life. It contributes to our innate ability to be self-determined.
Why does it matter? It’s a fundamental to drive positive lifestyle changes and is also a strong predictor of physical health. Improved mental fitness motivates us for positive lifestyle changes around healthy eating, increased physical activity, and tobacco-free living.
From building intelligence to strengthening memory, exercise boosts brainpower in a number of ways. Studies on mice and humans indicate that cardiovascular exercise creates new brain cells a process called neurogenesis and improve overall brain performance. It also prevents cognitive decline and memory loss by strengthening the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful. You’ll feel better about your appearance and, by meeting even small exercise goals, you’ll feel a sense of achievement.
Regular exercise helps in the prevention and management of health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. However, it can also improve your mood, lift your spirits and make you feel better about yourself. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that boost your sense of well-being and suppresses hormones that cause stress and anxiety. Physical activity is an effective tool against depression and you can find many different ways to make it a pleasurable pastime.
Daily exercise can improve sleep quality and exercising consistently can provide improvements in sleep over time. In addition to improving the quality of sleep, exercise also can help you increase the duration of your nightly rest. Being physically active requires you to expend energy, and helps you feel more tired and ready to rest at the end of the day.
Reduce stress and relieve anxiety
Stress is a common cause of sleep problems, including trouble falling asleep and sleeping restlessly during the night. Exercise is a potent remedy for anxiety and other mood disorders—just 5 minutes of exercise can trigger anti-anxiety responses in the body. Mind-body exercise such as yoga can help quiet the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help you relax.
Help control addiction
The brain releases dopamine, the “reward chemical” in response to any form of pleasure, be that exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol, or food. Unfortunately, some people become addicted to dopamine and dependent on the substances that produce it, like drugs or alcohol (and more rarely, food and sex). On the bright side, exercise can help in addiction recovery.