Whether you’re an exercise fanatic, or you’ve just begun to consider the option, you’re probably aware that there are tangible results that come from doing cardio and lifting weights. But did you also know that exercise can improve the mind as well as the body? Vigorous physical activity relieves stress and pressure at work, helps you think like a creative genius and generally makes you feel more peaceful and secure? 

Studies have proven that regular cardio work can enhance the ability of neurotransmitters like serotonin in the brain to work faster. This higher ability won’t replace a quality education or being generally street-smart, but it can help you to think clearer, quicker and more creatively. Regular weight training has also been shown to ease excess tension and aggression and promote overall feelings of confidence and well-being.

As a trainer, I find that clients who come in feeling anxious and stressed, over- worked, and generally depressed, report feeling energized and upbeat after early morning exercise. As a result, they are more relaxed and confident at work and seem to exhibit sharper, clearer mental processes all day long. For many practical reasons a lot of people can’t work out before work, but those clients who do regular cardio and weight training at some point in the course of their busy day report similar increases in energy, mood and productivity.

Do you come home from work and crash in exhaustion? Does your heart race when you’re stuck in traffic or before a big presentation or meeting? You have the power to change this misery. Start doing cardio after work and don’t forget to pump some iron while you are at it! You might think these activities would add to your overall fatigue, but you are wrong. Psychologists say that a key element behind failing under pressure is physical fatigue. Regular cardio (running, biking or swimming) energizes you and it charges up your brain and body for tough situations – like a cranky boss and do- nothing colleagues who cause you huge amounts of stress. Throwing the weights around helps you to alleviate frustration and pent-up aggression as you build a gorgeous toned body in the process!

If you have trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. Instead of groping for another Ambien– go for the treadmill or pump a little iron instead. Regular  exercise lowers your resting pulse rate, can lower blood pressure, revs up your metabolism, improves digestion, and biologically assists your brain in producing feel-good endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s naturally produced painkillers that help you to feel more relaxed and even elated in the face or stress and strain.  Regular exercise will help you to produce these substances as you function better during the day and rest easier at night. 

The next time you hit the gym to give that body a workout, remember the good you’re doing for your mind and spirit as well! For more information on the mind-body connection and exercise, contact now!