Happy Body – Happy Mind: The Impact of Movement on the Mind

By Olivia Matthaei

We all know, that exercising is helpful to keep you body healthy so that when age hits us we can cope better with our infirmities.

Nevertheless we are not always aware what close connection our wellbeing of the body means for the wellbeing of our mind. The impact of a healthy lifestyle is immense for mental health. While our brain is our main control-centrum exercising has a direct influence on the brain. Studies report that Movement is beneficial for the brain so that it can preform well.

Not only that through movement the blood circulation, and therefore the oxygen flow through the body improves, but also our muscle tension is positively influenced.

Especially the shoulder and neck muscles are mostly over tensed. Muscle tension again has a direct connection on how we feel: sore, tensed and stiff, just to give a few examples. Suffering under these symptoms means sleeplessness, stress and can even lead up to anxiety. To break through the “devils wheel” a good and easy method is exercise. This must not always be going to the gym; even a long relaxing walk or a few easy exercises at home can make a difference.

Evidence shows that a short brisk walk of 10 minutes already increase the release of so called “feel good hormones” (endorphins) in the brain.

Exercising on a regular basis also increases the volume of certain brain regions in part because of better blood supply and therefore improving oxygen supply. The oxygen works as nutrients for the brain, which again leads to stimulating neuron signalling and growth.

There is no perfect form of movement. This depends on every person. Each individual needs to find his/her favourite. Here are just a handful of examples you can try:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Gardening
  • Biking

Important is that one tries to dedicate at least a short time of the day to movement. Even if it is just taking the stairs instead of the escalator or walking down the street to buy milk instead of driving.

Just give exercise a chance and feel the difference it makes in your body and mind!

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