Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

by | Jul 20, 2020

What Mental Health Benefits Do You Get From Exercise

We are learning more and more with our understanding of the benefits of regular exercise and how it can have a positive impact on relieving stress, anxiety, depression and more. In this post we are going to look into and explore the mental health benefits of exercise.

Exercise isn’t only about the physical advantages despite what most people may think. Physical exercise also assists greatly in the uplifting of your mental state, and is even advised by those in professional healthcare capacity to help fight off, more severe mental illness such as depression, anxiety and even ADHD. As we all know, the body and the mind are incredibly close-linked and hence is a positive correlation in terms of positive results.

There are many benefits to exercise and i’m not just talking about the obvious ones like weight loss, aerobic capacity, muscles strength and definition. There are side effects of exercise, less tangible benefits that are a result of exercise that people enjoy but do not necessarily set out to achieve, but enjoy because they exercise regularly, and that is the sense of gratification or sense of well being and positivity that you feel and i think in many ways these are more important for your mental health and motivation to exercise more as part of a lifestyle.

From a personal point of view i really get a lift from exercising regularly and i cant go to long without, Whether its the feeling i get after finishing a workout or just the workout itself, i always feel pretty pleased with myself and that helps set me up for the day.

Other important health benefits of exercise that should be mentioned

  1. Increased energy and stamina
  2. Better endurance
  3. Stress relief
  4. Improved sleep
  5. Improvement in mood
  6. Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
  7. Weight reduction
  8. Reduced cholesterol and increase in cardiovascular fitness
  9. Increased interest in sex

Exercise Stress and Depression

Exercising every day, even if it is the minimal amount of 15-20 minutes can show you positive results, in our daily lives. The combination of fresh air and exercise for a mere 15 minutes, can lead to a positive impact on our mood, energy levels and a reduction of stress. Exercising also helps the well-being of people, which helps them to sleep better at night, feel more relaxed, higher self-esteem, and more energetic overall.

Studies have shown that exercising for 20 minutes a day, helps to reduce depression by over 25% and that the likelihood of developing depression is 22% less if they exercise for 25 minutes every day. Exercise also has neurological functions, wherein they help the activation and release of chemical endorphins (such as Dopamine, Adrenaline, and Serotonin) in the brain, which in turn helps you in feeling better about yourself. So even scientifically, exercise does play a vital and positive role in feeling better.

Exercise and anxiety

People suffering with anxiety are also advised to exercise, whether it be walking or running, as it helps reduce tension that has accumulated in the body. For example, exercising helps to reduce pain in tightened shoulders, and reduce back pains, both of which are symptoms for stress, by physical exertion. The neurochemicals produced also help to reduce low self-esteem. This increased self-esteem also plays an important factor in our relationships with ourselves and others.

Exercise and ADHD

Exercise has even managed to be beneficial for those suffering from ADHD, with the release of the endorphins in the brain. ‘Dopamine’ in particular is known for being the ‘happy hormone’ as it allows us to feel pleasure. ‘Serotonin’ is mostly responsible for regulation of appetite and sleep, and is the target of prescribed anti-depressants. This allows the individual to get more sleep, which in turn helps to improve their memory, mood and motivation.

7. Exercise and Your Mental Welbeing

As unlikely as it seems, doing a fair amount of exercise does in fact actually make us more energetic, especially on days when we are particularly lazy. Exercising is not limited to merely outdoor activities such as jogging, walking or work out sessions, but can also include fun sports and yoga sessions. With the former, it is a great chance to play alongside others, on a team, which makes you feel more valued as an individual, thus boosting your self-esteem, and spending time with other people with whom you may bond with. With Yoga sessions, it can help rejuvenate the body and help in cleansing your mind of negative emotions.

It is also a rather harmless and recommended way of expressing yourself, in a productive manner, especially negative emotions such as sadness, frustration and anger. The phrase “take a walk around the block to cool off” is quite literal, as even a 10-minute walk can help reduce these negative emotions. Exercising, thus, becomes an outlet to safely dispose of these feelings.

All in all, Exercising has numerous mental health benefits that we could all use, and is rather simple and straightforward to perform. Cater to your personal physical limits, and be careful not to over exert yourself.


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