Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health

Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health
21 Oct 2021
3 min read

You know exercise aids your body physically, but did you know it can improve your mental health as well? People who exercise regularly experience an enormous improvement in their sense of well-being. Being physically active not only boosts your mood and improves your sleep; it also allows you to mitigate stress, anxiety, depression, and any other mental health struggles. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of exercise for mental health. There are so many reasons to stay active!

1. Exercise helps you to reduce stress

Most people experience stress from daily events in their lives. Whether it’s work, family, or personal events that have them feeling overwhelmed, your body often has a physical response to this stress. Common symptoms include muscle tension, chest tightness, muscle cramps, back or neck pain, insomnia, heartburn, stomachaches, diarrhea, frequent urination, and headaches.

If you want to resolve these symptoms, find a way to get active. Exercise allows your brain to release endorphins, relaxing your muscles and relieving tension in your body.

2. Exercise treats anxiety and depression

Exercise is an effective treatment for both anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that exercise — event just 15 minutes of running — helps to treat mild to moderate depression without the side effects of antidepressant medication. When you exercise, you promote neural growth in your brain as well as reduce neural inflammation. It can also change your brain chemistry and contribute to new activity patterns that promote feelings of calmness and well-being.

Likewise, for anyone who suffers from anxiety, staying active relieves tension and stress by boosting both physical and mental energy. Many find that exercising allows them to interrupt their inner monologue and the flow of worries that constantly roll through their head.

3. Exercise reduces ADHD symptoms

Do you constantly feel like you’re all over the place? Are you searching for a way to improve your concentration and motivation at work? Starting your day with exercise may be your best bet!

When you exercise, you immediately boost your brain’s levels of chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This naturally improves your focus and attention in ways that medications like Ritalin and Adderall would.

4. Exercise clarifies thinking and improves memory

Exercise contributes a greater sense of well-being and allows you to feel mentally sharper. For most people, this means they’re able to better concentrate on tasks and clarify their thinking. When you exercise, you stimulate the growth of new brain cells and prevent age-related decline. If you want to maintain your memories, use exercise as one of the tools to do so!

Final Thoughts

Do you want to improve your mental health through exercise? Join a virtual fitness challenge to stay motivated and get fit! Having a community behind you can help boost your enthusiasm even on tough days. Read our post on What Are Virtual Fitness Challenges (and Why You Should Do One!) here.

To learn more about the virtual fitness challenges available to you, visit our challenges page.