With every new year comes a slew of resolutions by people vowing to get fit. But by the end of the first week, 23% of people quit their New Year’s resolutions, with 36% making it past the first month.

While fitness-related New Year’s resolutions are so common, we may all benefit from getting a better understanding of why exercise is truly beneficial. So many of us exercise to lose weight or get strong, but there is a deeper reason that could benefit everyone, especially in the current climate. Everywhere we turn, there’s more bad news, and as life’s challenges continue to increase, it is vital that we make significant lifestyle changes to ensure we cope with the increasing demands being placed upon us.

Exercise is the tonic we all need, and it’s always been there. Let’s show you why it may be the missing link:

Exercise is the Ultimate Cure-All for Various Ailments

As we age, we start to notice the creaks in our body a little bit more, and our mental health starts to peak and trough. Anyone learning about the basics of exercise, whether it is through a PT course or study, will see how exercise changes the body and mind. Exercise is often touted as a cure for various ailments; however, there is substantial evidence to support this claim. Exercise can help prevent an astonishing 35 chronic conditions, particularly within the cardiovascular domain:

  • It reduces cardiovascular conditions and all-cause mortality.
  • Reduces the risk of chronic conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancer.
  • Helps with mental health ailments such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, and dementia.

But how does exercise help? Exercise benefits the body and brain on a physiological level through various mechanisms by reducing insulin resistance, inflammation, and stimulating the release of growth factors in the brain and the body. Exercise can stimulate the creation of new neurons, specifically in the hippocampus, increase brain volume, and support memory consolidation and toxin removal through enhanced sleep quality.

Additionally, exercise increases the expression of genes involved in antioxidant responses, improves brain function and memory, and can counteract the effect of stress on the brain.

Put simply, exercise can do a lot! Exercise is something we all need to do, and we all know we should do more, but sometimes we can benefit from just how much it can truly do for our mind, body, and soul.

The Mood-Boosting Benefits

The human race is undoubtedly experiencing one of the biggest challenges it has ever faced. Mental health concerns are at an all-time high, even 20% of the world’s children have a mental health condition.

We live in a world where chronic stress born out of a hectic pace of life, little rest, and exposure to a constant stream of negativity has resulted in stress, anxiety, and depression in different forms, including a relatively new term known as hyper fatigue, which is a culmination of various emotional, physical, and psychological stresses.

Exercise is widely known to be a release of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins work as a natural and anti-anxiety treatment as it can relax the muscles and boost overall moods. However, in a stressed-out world, there are other benefits to exercise:

  • Physically challenging activities can push people beyond their comfort zones, leading to a breakdown and subsequent emotional release, resulting in repressed emotions, and providing a sense of catharsis.
  • When we feel pent up, exercise provides one of the best physical and emotional releases as it can help us get our frustrations out, but evidence also suggests that chronic and acute aerobic exercise can facilitate the ability to reduce the effect of emotional responses to negativity.
  • The emotional benefit of having achieved a PB (personal best) which, on a personal level, can provide us with a whole host of mental health benefits.

The ability to thrive in a stressful situation forces the mind and body to adapt; exercise is undoubtedly the best way for us to gradually push beyond our comfort zones because it enhances our resilience, which does not just boost our physical and mental energy, but also enhances our overall well-being because of the release of endorphins.

An Evergreen Solution

The great thing about exercise is that there are no limits to achieving it, anybody can start now. We are living in an age where people are popping a pill to solve all of their problems, but exercise is not just something that can improve physical and cardiovascular fitness but, in many people, can be an effective dose of resilience.

In a world where we see so much bad news with new stresses being piled upon us every few months, it becomes essential to figure out coping strategies to deal with the demands of the modern world. Exercise has always been, and will always be, the best solution for mind, body, and soul.