Why combine fitness and cognitive behavioral therapy? Exercise has been proven to have many brain benefits in addition to the obvious physical health benefits. Several studies show that exercise effectively reduces depression and anxiety symptoms. And, many people who maintained exercise were even shown to be in remission with no symptoms at all. Exercise is a powerful tool in improving your mood, increasing your focus and attention and improving your self-esteem. The best part about it is that you can learn to incorporate it into your life. You can be in charge of using exercise to maintain your physical and mental well being, with no negative side effects.
The Science: Exercise adjusts the chemicals in the brain to restore normal connections within the brain. Whereas antidepressants may only affect one chemical in the brain, exercise is like a reset button that impacts different areas of the brain at the same time. The whole brain gets moving, creating new connections and is unstuck from negative thinking and emotion patterns. Without getting overly technical, here is some of how exercise creates changes in the brain:
- Elevates norepinephrine which improves self-esteem
- Increases dopamine levels which improves mood and helps with attention and focus
- Elevates serotonin which influences mood and impulse control
- Stimulates the brain stem to give you more energy and motivation
- Impacts the prefontal cortex which can improve self-concept
Most people notice an immediate benefit from exercise, but to truly use it as a tool to over come depression or anxiety, one must make exercise a daily habit.
Contact Us to learn more about how this approach can help.