benefits of exercise

  • 5 Ways Exercise Helps Your Mental Health

    A lot of people pound the pavement or hit a workout class to get the physical benefits of exercise. Thosebenefits include toned muscles, better heart health, a stronger core, and of course, that summer bod, and who doesn’t want all of that?

    Those are definitely great “side effects” of exercise, but breaking a sweat does a lot more than just affect the outside – it affects the inside as well by having a positive impact on your mental health.

    the mental health benefits of exercise

    Studies show that working out can give you some pretty amazing mental benefits, and we’re not just referring to the feel-good sensation you get when you walk out of that Zephyr class. We’re talking about the long-term benefits that impact your overall mental health, such as easing anxiety and depression.


    The Mental Health Benefits

    So, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to shed light on the five ways exercise can help your mental well-being. Some of them might just surprise you.



    On a very basic level, the physical benefits of exercise can play a part in your overall self-esteem. Studies show that the more regularly you exercise, the higher your positive self-image, regardless of your age, weight, gender, or size.



    According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a sweat-drenched workout can boost creativity for up to two hours after you workout. So next time you need a boost of creative thinking, hit the trails or hop in a cycling class to really get your right brain working.



    It’s proven that people who workout on a regular basis have more energy than people who don’t. This energy translates into doing more, getting more done, and having a better experience while doing it.


    Lowers Anger + Frustration

    Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. When these endorphins are released more often, your anger tolerance is shown to increase. This increase allows you to react to anger and frustration in a calmer, more controlled manner.


    Eases Anxiety

    Move over bubble baths. Exercise can do wonders for those struggling with anxiety. The chemicals released post-work out reduce feelings overwhelmingness and fear that come with anxiety.


    So now you know – working out can have positive benefits that far outweigh the physical body, not to mention “beach season.” Gaining self-confidence, handling your emotions, and improving your overall well-being are just a few of the reasons why exercise can be a driving force for better mental health.

    Interested in the science behind the benefits of working out? Check out our blog post on the effects of exercise on your brain here.

  • Why Sweat? The Effects of Exercise on Your Brain

    As we know, exercise can affect on our bodies in amazing ways. Stronger muscles, faster times, tighter abs, and easier movements are just a few of the benefits of working out on the regular.

    the benefits of working out and how exercise affects our braindBut what we may not know is that exercise plays a critical role in our mental health and brain functionality. Each spin class, mountain climbed, and session in the weight room can have massive effects on the way we think.

    Think about it – after a good sweat, we tend to think more clearly, breathe a little more easily, and have more energy.

    So why is this?

    We here at Zephyr know the important role exercise plays in every aspect of life. That’s why we want to give not only the physical but also the mental and spiritual benefits of working out.

    Read below to learn about three benefits of exercise that affect your brain.

    1. Mood Boost and Mental Health

    Inside your brain, there are billions of neurons that give the rest of your body orders and instructions –called neurotransmitters. These signals regulate everything from your mood and sleep, to your focus and appetite.

    Studies show that regular exercise increases two neurotransmitters in particular that directly affect your mood. By exercising, you increase these transmitters and strengthen your mind’s ability to respond to certain stressors. This is often referred to as “mental fitness.”

    2. Stress Reduction

    Are you constantly feeling overwhelmed? You might want to step up your exercise routine. Regular exercise can control the stress hormone referred to as cortisol.

    When you are stressed out, your body signals a “flight or fight” response and releases cortisol into your system. This is good in certain situations that require quick, immediate action. What you don’t want is a constant feeling of anxiety. This unwanted stress can be lessened by breaking a sweat and moving your body on a regular basis.

    3. Improved Thinking

    When you exercise, you increase the amount of blood flow in your body. More blood means more oxygen and more energy, which makes our brains perform better.

    Another reason our mental capacity improves during exercise has to do with a part of brain called the hippocampus, which is responsible for our learning ability and our memory. Research shows that this portion of the brain is highly active during physical activity. When activity in this region increases, our cognitive function improves tremendously.


    Exercising not only does your body good, but also benefits your mental health as well. Now, there’s yet another reason to stay physically active and keep on moving!