Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Victor Wembanyama on stage after being selected first overall in the 2023 NBA draft
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Cavan Nicholas, Contributing Writer • May 27, 2024

A Look Inside the Mental and Social Benefits of Exercise 

This is a glimpse inside a workout class at Orangetheory Fitness, located at 15 Shipyard Drive, Hingham MA.
Credit: Blackline Retail Group
This is a glimpse inside a workout class at Orangetheory Fitness, located at 15 Shipyard Drive, Hingham MA.

Most people know that in order to remain healthy, exercise is a must. But when taking a deeper dive into the study of physical fitness, the benefits affect the mental and social well-being of humans. 

With fast moving jobs and other priorities, it’s easy to simply tell yourself “Oh, I’ll go to the gym tomorrow” or “I can skip today because I’m busy.” However, the more often you push off physical fitness, the less imbedded it will become in your lifestyle. Studies prove that the wonderful benefits of physical activity are significantly more effective the more regular people do it.

Social
When people tend to think of exercising, the majority of the time they aren’t looking to improve their social skills. However, lower levels of physical activity often result in decreased energy levels and confidence. Sports, especially, significantly impact adolescents’ abilities to communicate effectively and work as a team. 

Lauren Armstrong, a sophomore at Hingham High School, says “Playing two sports, Field Hockey and Tennis, gives me something to look forward to after school. Instead of going home, I hang out with a great group of girls either on the turf or the courts.” 

Yoga and Pilates, two of the most fast growing forms of exercise, work to eliminate modern world distractions and find balance. By focusing on core strength and centering oneself, these methods of exercising appeal to people who may struggle with anxiety or stress. 

Whether people participate in sports, classes, walks, or at home sessions, exercise can build a sense of community and a feeling of belonging. In today’s world, younger individuals are more attached to their cellphones, but exercising acts as a way to detach yourself from the screen and focus on the present. Working out with new people or old friends also improves accountability, which helps people maintain a regular schedule. 

Mental
The mental benefits of physical fitness cannot be understated. Although the workout may feel tough in the moment, studies show that people tend to be in better moods following a difficult workout. While people’s goals surrounding fitness differ, often times people who exercise experience higher self esteem, better moods, and reduced risk anxiety and depression. 

Physical activity releases endorphins, which if you know the famous Elle Woods quote… “Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands; they just don’t.” Endorphins are released by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus located in the brain, and they directly impact people’s wellbeing. 

High school senior Izzy Whitlock explained that “Going to Planet Fitness after school a few times a week helps me in ways I didn’t even imagine. After the workout, which on some days is longer than others, I feel ready to handle other tasks like homework.” 

While dragging yourself out of bed in the morning or hitting the gym after a long day is no doubt extremely difficult, the benefits of physical activity are infinite. By creating schedules or small goals, anyone is able to improve their mental and social wellbeing through exercise.

 

Participating in school sports, like Hingham High’s Field Hockey Team, offers physical, mental, and social benefits. Here the HHS bonds over their win over Minnechaug. last fall.
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