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Exercise is good for mental health

When people think about exercising, they imagine getting in shape and losing weight.  However, exercising can be used on another level for the well-being of the human body.  Physiotherapy is the process of working with patients to improve mobility, balance, and motor functions to improve their quality of life.  Exercising improves mental health by boosting mood and confidence, improving sleep, reducing anxiety, stress and depression.

Physiotherapy is believed to have been started by physicians Hippocrates and Galen during 460 BC.  In its beginning, physiotherapy was the use of massage and hydrotherapy.  Later it expanded during the 18th century to treat systemic diseases by creating exercises for the joints.  A more modern physical therapy was started in the 19th century during the Polio epidemic.  Women were trained in physical education to care for the affected patients who had long-lasting effects from Polio.

Exercising can improve self-esteem because it energizes the person and makes them feel stronger and more “fit.”  Seeing what they have accomplished by enhancing their body image can boost their self-esteem and self-confidence.  The first step to improvement is raising a person’s self-esteem to create confidence.

Depression can be helped by medication, but physical exercise can add a healthy dynamic.  Studies say if a person runs for at least 15 minutes a day, their depression is reduced by 26 percent.  Exercising changes many areas in the brain,  releasing endorphins, a chemical in the brain known as the “feel-good” chemical.  Anxiety can be helped by exercising because it releases tension and stress and increases endorphins.

Another method that can help a person’s anxiety and stress is sleeping better.  Exercising can help a person sleep better because exercise increases body temperature, resulting in a calm mind.  Being in a relaxed state can help a person sleep peacefully because there are no worries or tensions.

Exercise increases a person’s stamina, giving them more energy to use each day. Working out will keep a person’s heart rate elevated and more blood pumping through the body.  It also creates more brain cell growth.  The more energy a person has, the more productive they become, reducing symptoms of depression and creating self-esteem.

 The more a person exercises, the stronger they become as a person, not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally.

by Mikayla Rainey

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