How Exercise Improves Mental Health

Many people choose to exercise to lose weight or build up muscle, but what you may not realize is that exercise can also work wonders for improving mental health.

If you struggle with the likes of anxiety of depression, it can be easy to fall into a vicious cycle of overwhelming thoughts that could make you feel as though you’re losing control. Yet, exercise is a proven beneficial theory to ease the symptoms associated with mental health and make you feel much more relaxed and able to tackle challenges head on.

If you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, here are a number of benefits you may experience by incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle:


1. Reduces stress

Seven out of 10 adults in the USA suffer from stress. Unfortunately, it’s an aspect of everyday life that must be dealt with, but it can also be very debilitating. Although it’s impossible to eliminate stress completely, there are strategies you can put in place to manage the impacts.

One of the most common techniques is exercise, which has been proven to be a great coping technique when you start to feel overwhelmed. During physical activity, the brain releases endorphins such as dopamine or norepinephrine to give you a sense of calm, while regulating stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.


2. Improves self-confidence

When you feel good physically, you feel great mentally. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how exercise has a direct link to self-confidence. If you have very low esteem, you could use exercise as a tactic to reach small goals; such as losing weight or increasing stamina. Meeting goals regularly will no doubt boost your self-confidence before you move on to bigger challenges.

Whether you’re a gym goer or an active sports player, participating in regular exercise may give you the motivation to inspire others, which will work wonders for your confidence. If you’re keen to try something new and give others the inspiration to improve their mental wellbeing, why not study to become a personal trainer? Find out more about Colchester courses and what you need to do to get on this career path.


3. Reduces anxiety

Over 40 million people have been diagnosed with anxiety in the USA alone. Exercise is a natural remedy to lower anxiety levels, as a result of happiness-boosting chemicals being released in the brain. Although these effects may only be temporary, spending time outdoors and taking on some gentle exercise is an ideal calming mechanism to give you some perspective on your issues. It may also gradually reduce your reliance on medication for anxiety and depression.


4. Makes you more alert

Exercise feeds the brain important nutrients to increase cognitive functioning, meaning you’re far more likely to be productive in the workplace after an early-morning gym session. With increased blood flow to the brain, you’ll feel more energized and focused rather than sluggish and unenthusiastic. If your job involves sitting at a desk for long periods of time, be sure to find time to do simple exercises to kickstart the brain every so often, and it will make a real difference to your day.