Top 5 Benefits of Functional Fitness on Mental Health
The significance and links between functional physical fitness and functional mental headspace
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Most of us know that exercise is good for our well-being, especially physically, but it’s also essential for our mental health. Functional fitness, like its unique physical benefits, also has its own positives when it comes to our mental well being. If you’re looking for any further reasons to give functional fitness a try, here are the top five mental health benefits that come from function fitness.
1 - Confidence
Exercise gives you confidence. Not only do you feel good from your accomplishments but overcoming challenges boosts your confidence and perceptions of yourself. Additionally, functional fitness, when done properly, helps bring you back to the basics of your natural movement by improving your posture and stance in order to move as we were intended to before we were forced into offices, desks, chairs, and couches. One of the benefits of a good posture is an improvement in confidence. Studies have found that when task are performed with good posture the person felt more competent at performing that task versus those who were slouched. So you get a double whammy of confidence if you used functional fitness in your exercise regime.
2 - Stress Reduction
Scientists noted that moderate exercise increases blood circulation to our brains and creates a reaction that reduces our physiological reactivity to stress with as little as 30-45 minutes a few times a week (provided you’re not sitting for the remainder of the day). Stretching every day and maintaining your functional mobility also helps in muscle tension and reducing stress.
3 - Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Exercise has a multitude of positive outcomes for the brain. It release endorphins which help reduce and prevent both anxiety and depression, especially with functional aerobic exercise, as well as improvement in treatment and in prevention in relapses. One study saw a 26% risk decrease for major depression for those that took the time to run for 15-minutes a day or walk for one hour. Additionally, participating in a group or social settings has been reported to help depressive and anxious symptoms further and exercise also been shown to help those with mental illness reduce their social withdrawal symptoms.
4 - Mood and Mental Alertness
Your body releases endorphins when you exercise and this chemical makes you feel great. These same chemicals have also been found to help improve cognitive functions, concentration, stamina, increased energy levels and alertness. Exercise also helps to stimulate the growth of new brain cells help you stay sharp as you age.
5 - Better Sleep
Exercise naturally fatigues you making it easier for you to fall and stay asleep. Research has shown an increase in perceived energy levels with an regular exercise regime. One of the additional benefits offered by functional fitness is its capacity to reduce or eliminate pain. Pain or discomfort is a major cause of sleep-loss but with a functional fitness exercise regime it can help realign your body for better a better performance and for a better night’s sleep.