Earlier this week, I shared this article with the Habits of Health Community. In short, researchers found that physical activity could be a tool for preventing depression, adding another insight into a large body of research that reached similar conclusions: Putting our bodies in motion is good for our mental health, not just our physical health.
When so much of the conversation around health & wellness focuses on how we look in social media photos, these kinds of rewards can be overlooked when they are perhaps just as impactful. Reaching a healthy weight and slimming our waistlines are still incredible achievements with far-reaching health benefits, but when we understand the full picture of what exercise can do for us, making the choice to be active instead of sedentary becomes much easier.
For example, if you’re having a bad day, what if you knew that going for a jog would make you feel far better in the short- and long-term than eating a tub of ice cream? When it comes to our inner dialogue, that’s a powerful shift, and making that shift is easier when you can more clearly see what each of your choices mean.
In that spirit, here are 4 hidden benefits to Habits of Healthy Motion that you might not have known:
- Exercise can potentially prevent depression. This comes from the study I mentioned previously, but it’s worth emphasizing because of how significant this can be for us as individuals and for the people we surround ourselves with.
- Exercise can potentially improve our sleep. When we are active, we are more likely to have restful sleep, which can create a positive ripple throughout our daily lives, especially when you consider how difficult a bad night’s sleep can make you feel.
- Exercise can potentially improve decision-making. Some studies have found that when we are more active, our brains perform more efficiently. If we consider how often choices impact our lives (which is to say we are always making choices), this is a big boost.
- Exercise can potentially reduce stress. Our lives are often fast-paced and challenging. While we should be looking for opportunities to reduce outside sources of stress and anxiety, putting our bodies in motion can help us better process and cope with those emotions.
Habits of Healthy Motion are a gateway to a myriad of rewards that can make our lives more vibrant. How are you introducing more motion into your life? How has that made you feel? Share your stories in the comments below!