How Does Exercise Benefit My Mental Health?

exercise is the best medicine

Exercise is the best medicine, yes it actually is. There are instant mental health benefits from moving your muscles.

Many psychologists are more apt to spend more sessions with a patient or try to prescribe different medications. It is becoming more clear that exercise can improve a lot of mental health disorders such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

“I often recommend exercise for my psychotherapy clients, particularly for those who are anxious or depressed.” Jennifer Carter, PhD

Here are some benefits that exercising has on your mental health:

Improving your mood.

The link between our moods and how much exercise we get is undeniable.

You can get a boost in your mood just by 5 minutes of moderate exercise!

5 minutes of exercise can improve your mood

Exercise is not all about the short term, it can help give relief to depression that has been looming for a long time. There is data from Duke University that shows that active people are less depressed than inactive people. Those who stop working out after an extended amount of time show depressive signs, this is an indicator that mood is connected with exercise.

Exercise is generally comparable to antidepressants for patients with major depressive disorder (Psychosomatic Medicine, 2007).

Lessing your stress and anxiety.

It is no secret that exercise can decrease your stress hormone levels and anxiety. If we live in a world where people have anxiety attacks daily and struggle to get rid of stress then why aren’t people up and active? The solution is simple, if you are feeling down, then work out!

Here are a couple of our articles on how to combat stress and anxiety:

Do I Have Anxiety? Quiz

28 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

24 Ways to Manage Stress

Feel good chemicals in the brain.

Experts still do not know the exact effect exercise has on mental health but there are many good things that come from it that can have a change in depression. Chronic depression can find relief by serotonin that increases and is released when working out. These are the neurotransmitters that antidepressants go after.

More benefits of consistent working out:

  1. Weight loss. When you look good, you feel good. This can help with your self-image and self-worth.
  2. Energy levels will be increased immediately. Within just 5 minutes of moderate exercise, you can receive a boost of energy. All it takes is getting up and going!
  3. Reduce potential for chronic disease. Exercise is good for your, blood pressure, heart, your weight, and insulin levels. 
  4. Exercising can give you healthy skin. Another benefit to help your self-image.
  5. Brain and memory health. When you exercise you will receive more oxygen to the brain. This helps you think better and creates hormones that make your brain cells grow. 
  6. More relaxation and sleep. It has always been said that we never sleep enough or we don’t get good quality sleep. Exercise will help us put in a deep sleep that will have us waking up refreshed.