The physical health benefits of sports and fitness are widely acknowledged, but oftentimes, we fail to view exercise as equally important to our mental health. This is despite the fact that according to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness, and according to a 2021 report by the Center for Disease Control, more than 40% students experience symptoms of depression.  

At Asphalt Green, we believe that a healthy and active life supports our bodies and our minds. For Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re highlighting 5 ways sports, fitness, and play can support your mental well-being.

Plus, learn how you can become a part of our friendly and supportive community by exploring our total range of offerings below: 

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1. Boosting Mood

Engaging in physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that act as natural mood lifters. Whether it's going for a run, hitting the gym, or playing your favorite sport, even just 15-30 minutes of regular exercise can help alleviate symptoms of depression and boost your overall mood daily.  

2. Supporting Healthy Sleep

Experts agree that quality sleep is crucial for mental health, but many people struggle to get enough sleep. Fortunately, engaging in regular physical activity can promote better sleep patterns. Exercise helps regulate your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. By tiring your body out in a healthy way, you're more likely to experience deeper and more restorative sleep to keep you feeling your best each day.   

3. Building Social Relationships

Sports and fitness activities provide excellent opportunities for social interaction, whether through team sports, group fitness classes, or workout buddies. Connecting with others who share your interests can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Building a community around sports and fitness not only makes exercise more enjoyable but also creates a network of individuals who can offer encouragement and motivation during challenging times. At Asphalt Green, our community is strengthened and united by our shared commitment to living active and healthy lives and seeing each other succeed.  

4. Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Life is full of challenges and stressors, but physical activity can always help. When you exercise, your body releases tension and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Additionally, focusing on the physical sensations of movement can divert your mind from worries and rumination, promoting a state of mindfulness. Whether it's a calming yoga session or an intense cardio workout, incorporating regular exercise into your routine can help you better manage stress and anxiety. 

5. Boosting Self-Esteem

Engaging in sports and fitness is an excellent way to build up your confidence. As you set and achieve goals, whether it's running a certain distance, working out a certain number of days in a week, winning a game, or mastering a new skill, you’ll learn to gain a sense of accomplishment and pride. Even more important, the act of taking care of your body through exercise sends a powerful message of self-love and self-care, reinforcing positive feelings about yourself. 

Find a Sports or Fitness Program at Asphalt Green  

If you’re looking to add sports and fitness to your self-care routine, there’s no better place to try than Asphalt Green. 

We believe and encourage people of all ages and abilities to get active. As an Asphalt Green participant, we partner with you to build exercise programs built around your needs and tailored to your goals. 

Make our community even more special by finding your ideal Asphalt Green program below! 

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