Exercise and mental health are crucial elements of a healthy life. (Image via Unsplash/Ginny Rose)

Exercise and Mental Health: How do they help?

Exercise and mental health are strongly connected, but when you're feeling down, it can be difficult to get motivated to exercise.

However, if you're not exercising regularly and are experiencing mental health issues, it's time to make a change. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to boost mood and help manage anxiety and depression symptoms.


It also releases endorphins that promote positive thinking and keep brain cells active. Don't forget that exercise helps relieve stress — which is key for good mental health.

Exercise and Mental Health: Why does it matter?


Here are some of the reasons why exercise and mental health are inter-connected and how they can help improve your overall well-being:

1) Mood Booster

Improves mood and makes you feel good (Image via Unsplash / Kike Vega)

While exercise won't cure depression or anxiety, it may help improve symptoms. Research shows that regular physical activity can help manage both conditions and reduce severity of symptoms. Exercise and mental health are important to maintaining a well-rounded lifestyle

Exercise releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that make you feel good. They're also released while eating chocolate. Endorphins are responsible for producing a runner's high, and they serve as natural mood boosters in people who exercise regularly.

Feeling good after working out is called a positive feedback loop, which means you willwant to continue exercising, as it makes you feel good — and feeling better always leads to wanting more positive experiences.


2) Keeps brain in shape and promotes creativity

Mental health and exercise are linked; exercise can help the brain in many ways, and one of the most notable is by increasing blood flow to the brain. Exercise may be an effective treatment for depression.

Exercise and mental health research has linked BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) to cognitive function and improving memory. This protein encourages the growth and survival of neurons in certain areas of the adult human brain.

When these cells are damaged as a result of stress or trauma, BDNF promotes their repair by promoting cell growth and generation. It also plays an important role in learning and memory formation — two skills we need every day.

3) Helps alleviate stress

Reduces stress (Image via Unsplash/Chelsea Gates)

Exercise can help you relax, sleep better and manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers. These chemicals can relieve physical and mental tension, as well as boost mood.

Exercise and mental health well-being are cornerstones of fitness. If you're feeling stressed out from work or life in general, try taking a walk or doing some stretches when you get home from work instead of watching TV or sitting on the couch all evening.

That will help reduce the effects of stress on the body and mind while also providing an opportunity for relaxation that doesn't involve alcohol or drugs (both of which have negative side effects).

4) Helps get enough rest & sleep

Exercise is one of the best ways of getting enough rest and sleep. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can help you sleep better, especially if you exercise in the evening before going to bed.

There are different types of exercises that can help you sleep better. Examples include:

  • Yoga/meditation – these practices calm the body down so that it feels more relaxed when it comes time to go to bed. Moreover, they usually do not require much movement, which can cause an increase in anxiety if done too close to bedtime.
  • Tai chi – this practice involves slow movements while focusing on breathing patterns, which help relax the mind and body enough so that they're ready for restful sleep when you're finished with your session.

4) Helps fight anxiety and depression

Fights anxiety and stress (Image via Unsplash/Conscious design)

Exercise can be a great way to help fight depression and anxiety. It's often used as an alternative treatment in clinical settings, as it has been shown to have similar effects on the brain as antidepressants.

Studies have shown that working out regularly can reduce stress and improve sleep quality, which can both improve mental health. Because exercise helps you think more clearly, it can be an effective tool for combating feelings of sadness or anxiety.

Exercise and mental health go hand-in-hand

Exercise and mental health - Better energy levels (Image via Unsplash/Kaylee Garrett)

You may have heard of how exercise can help with physical health, but did you know that it also has benefits for mental health?

Exercise and mental health can relieve stress and improve mood. It can also help improve sleep patterns, which in turn leads to better energy levels throughout the day. You will feel more motivated and creative at work if you get enough sleep at night.

So there you have it. There are many benefits to exercise, and they extend far beyond the physical realm into your mental health. If you're looking to improve your overall wellness and live a happier life, consider starting with some simple workouts at home or in nature. You will not regret it.


Quick Links

Edited by
See more
More from Sportskeeda