When most people exercise, they do it because of physical health. Maybe you want to improve your looks to impress a date. Perhaps you need more strength for a tough job. Either way, those are all valid reasons to go to the gym. However, more people need to realize that the gym isn’t just for working out your arms, legs, and core. You can work out your brain too.

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we figured we should describe a few ways that exercise can impact one’s mental health. Here are some reasons why.

The Endorphins

Your emotions, at the end of the day, are chemicals in your mind. That’s why depressed is often referred to as a chemical imbalance. There are many chemicals that can make you happy, and one of them is endorphins. When you get a good workout going, those endorphins release in your mind and make you feel good. They have a painkiller effect as well. Some people don’t work out because they are in pain, but working out within your limit may be able to help you. Working out is good no matter your condition. Though if you have an an illness, talk to a fitness pro to make sure you’re in the clear.

Helps You Handle Your Emotions

Did your boss really make you mad at work? Why not unload on a punching bag? Are you dealing with stress beyond your wildest dreams? Why not run away from it, metaphorically speaking. Working out is a great way to reduce your stress levels so you can come back to your problems with a clearer head. It’s a brilliant thing to do if you need to refresh your mind.

It Can Be a Bonding Experience

In order to have good mental health, you sometimes need to have your social needs fulfilled. Even if you are an introvert, talking to someone every now and then is a good idea. Exercise can be a good social experience for many reasons. If you’re joining a club, you can work out with like-minded people. If you have friendsand loved onesworking out with them can be a bonding experience and good for your mental health. You can check out here to find out other ways to bond with your family too. 

It Doesn’t Have to Be at a Gym

A lot of people don’t get into fitness because the gym may be a hassle. They may live nowhere near one, or live in an area where the options are limited and they can’t find a gym at any price. However, you don’t need to go on a super workout to get the most out of your day. You can do some exercises at home, take a walk outside, and get yourself a couple of dumbbells and do many exercises using them. There are creative ways to work out, and thanks to the Internet, finding different workouts and watching tutorial videos has made it easier than ever to work out and find the best fitness regimen for you.

Of Course, it’s No Cure-All

Working out can be amazing, but it’s not a magic cure-all if you are suffering from a severe mental problem or are dealing with some tough life stress. In a situation like that, talking to a therapist or a counselor may be your best bet.

Online therapy has made it easier than ever to get the mental health care you deserve. You can even get therapy as you work out. For more information on online therapy, and how you can get started, click here for more information. You can improve yourself and love your life.