Many people sign up for a gym membership to lose weight, gain muscle, or have that highly desired “summer body”. However, physical activity not only provides a change in physical appearance but can also help with mood, memory, and learning. In other words, exercising can be extremely beneficial for a healthy, and efficient mind. The following are 10 psychological benefits that result from physical exercise.

1.Produces Happiness Chemicals

Running a few miles may be a challenge for some, a nightmare for others, and a piece of cake for marathon runners, however, regardless of a person’s condition, you must know that it is definitely worth it. Exercise results in the production of endorphins, which create a sense of happiness and euphoria. In fact, studies have shown that physical activity can alleviate depression symptoms so well that doctors strongly suggest that exercise become a part of a person’s daily routine. For those not used to exercising, working out 3 times per week, for 30 minutes each time can be enough to positively affect a person’s mood instantaneously.

2. Reduces Stress

After a long day at work, nothing suits the body better than a quick gym session or beach run. Exercising increases the production of norepinephrine, which can help moderate the brain response to stress. The increase in production of such chemical, allows for a better ability to deal with tension created by stress resulting from work, home, or school to mention a few.

3. Boosts Self-esteem

Looking better physically helps a person feel better emotionally. Exercising can enhance a person’s body image, elevating the person’s perception of their attractiveness and therefore valuing themselves far more.

4. More Social Life

If a person has a great self-esteem and is healthy emotionally, then that person’s social part of their life is more than likely to benefit from such confidence. It is even better to participate in classes taught by an instructor and exercising in a group, as that augments the chances of meeting and socially with more people.

5. Alleviates Anxiety

There is a neurotransmitter released throughout and after a workout that can alleviate anxiety. Aerobic exercise of medium to high intensity can reduce symptoms produced from anxiety.

6. Prevents Cognitive Deterioration

As a person gets older, there is an increased risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimers, especially after 45 years of age. Exercising, especially between 25 and 45 years of age, increases chemical substances in the brain that prevent the degeneration of neurons from the hippocampus. Studies have shown that exercising routinely can lower the chances of dying at an early age. Additionally, physical activity reduces the risk of a stroke and enhances the cognitive function to decrease dementia.

7. Enhances Memory

Working out routinely enhances a person’s memory and his or her ability to learn new things. Exercise increases the production of cells from the hippocampus, which are greatly responsible for memory and learning.

8. Increases Cerebral Capacity

An increase in neurons and neuronal activity, otherwise known as neurogenesis, also results from exercise. Neurogenesis results in an increase in learning capacity. Some studies suggest that physical activity raises the levels of proteins like BDNF, which are believed to influence positively in decision making.

9. Increases Productivity

Research shows that employees who exercise routinely or play sports are normally far more productive and energetic than more sedentary employees. Exercise provides an energy boost essentially.
10. Helps Control Addiction

The brain releases dopamine in response to a pleasant stimulant like sex, drugs, or food. Unfortunately, people become addicted to those things that produce dopamine in large amounts. Physical activity can help a person with an addiction recover. Exercise has a positive effect for people with alcohol and drugs addiction since it delays the craving. Alcohol, for instance, interrupts circadian rhythms causing an individual to have difficulty sleeping. Exercise can reinitiate the circadian clock, bringing a sense relief and rest to an individual.