Exercise Benefits for Mental Health

Exercise Benefits for Mental Health

An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to a number of physical health problems and can also result in the deterioration of your mental health. Exercise is commonly recommended by medical professionals to improve your physical health, as it reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Exercise and being active is recommended as part of the treatment plan for people who suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body. Physical activity and exercise  can keep your   heart healthy, improve your joints and bone ability, it also benefits your mental health and wellbeing, by making you feel good about yourself, and prevents you from injury or poor health. Exercise can also reduce the risk of depression ,chronic pain, and  reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

Participating in regular physical activity can increase your self-esteem and improve the quality of life for people experiencing mental health problems. Exercise releases the brain chemical serotonin which is considered a natural mood stabiliser. Serotonin is a hormone that helps with sleeping, eating and digestion. However, serotonin can also help to reduce depression, regulate anxiety, heal wounds, stimulate nausea, and maintain bone health. When your serotonin levels are normal you will feel happier, calmer, more focused, less anxious, and more emotionally stable.

Along with the release of serotonin, the mental health benefits of exercise include training the brain to release hormones that will prevent memory loss, mental illness, and it is helpful for your overall wellbeing. Exercising is a natural way to improve your energy levels to help fight against the draining effects of mental health issues such as depression.

Physical activity can release the tension caused by constant pain in your muscles, bones, and other areas of your body. Activities such as yoga or Pilates can help to ease the tension and discomfort in your body. This is a great exercise for your mental health as it will train your mind to focus.

Exercising can also improve your sleeping pattern; help you gain a positive self-esteem and a sense of achievement. It encourages you to interact with other people, which is an excellent way to overcome the isolation that can result from depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.

Any physical activity can release brain chemicals that have a positive impact on your wellbeing. However, aerobic and strength exercises are considered to be the most effective for both your physical and mental health. It will increase your heart rate, get your blood flowing, allow you to concentrate on your breathing and focus on one task at a time, which will help calm your mind.

A few effective exercises that will improve both your body and mind are:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Weightlifting
  • Resistance training
  • Spin classes
  • Yoga
  • Martial arts
  • Pilates
  • Swimming


One of the great things about physical activity is that there are endless possibilities to choose from, so there will be an activity for almost everyone to add to their daily routine.