Mental health benefits of exercise

Exercise is good for both your body and mind and can be one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can provide significant positive improvements in anxiety and depression.

Moderate exercise can also:

  • Relieves stress
  • Improves brain function and memory
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Boosts your overall mood
  • Literally changing your entire outlook on life

Stress Reduction

Exercising is an excellent way to relieve stress. Your workout will relax tight muscles. This will reduce the tension you feel across your chest and neck and release endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are your body’s “feel good” hormones that activate your brain’s opiate receptors producing a pain-free effect.

More Energy And Brain Power

People who exercise have more energy than those who don’t. Moving more, burning fat and building muscle by increasing your activity level and getting your heart pumping will increase your energy level. That energy will make you more productive. It will also mean an increased supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients to your brain. You’ll also be more creative, outgoing and happy.

Better Sleep

Regular exercise will improve the quality of your sleep. You will fall asleep faster and spend more time in a restful deep sleep which will enhance your mental health. According to the Journal of Sleep Research, quality sleep reduces the risk of depression and anxiety. We looked at a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. This suggests that quality sleep can be an effective antidote for depression and mood swings.

Confidence And Self Esteem

People who exercise make things happen. They work toward reaching their fitness goals and become lean, healthy and more muscular. The closer they get to reaching their goals, the more motivated and determined they become. They develop a sense of accomplishment. They begin to eat better, stand taller and approach life with a new confident outlook and much improved self image and self esteem.

Reduce Dependency

Exercise can also reduce dependency, help control addiction and is beneficial during addiction recovery. Exercise can distract from and reduce cravings for food, alcohol and drugs. The physical benefits (better sleep, stress relief, clear and focused thinking) all work together to function without the need for addictive behaviors or substances.

Social Benefits

Lastly when you exercise and become more fit, you will be motivated and encouraged to try new things. These include exercise classes, a gym membership, a bootcamp or new physical challenges. You will meet new positive people who are healthy and fit and will encourage you to make the right choices and live a new healthy lifestyle.

In conclusion regardless of your age or fitness level the mental health benefits of exercise include relieving stress and depression while providing a renewed sense of energy. You will experience increased self confidence, an improved self-image and a sense of achievement and happiness.

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