Exercise and Mental Health

Exercise isn’t just about keeping us physically in shape, it’s also about our mental health. It is even more important than the physical, because without mental health, there is no physical health.

Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins that make us feel good and it’s the feeling good that helps with self-esteem. Exercise not only improves our mental health, but also helps us sleep better, look better and feel better.

Exercise also gives us me time, so that we can take time out, away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it’s another good way to booster your feelings of self-worth and confidence.

Taking part in any form of exercise that we enjoy contributes to a goal and gives us a sense of purpose that help in other areas of our life too. In order to continue to contribute to our mental health, we must continue to exercise regularly.

Added benefits of exercise include:

  • Improved sleep;
  • A sense of achievement;
  • Less tension, mental fatigue and stress;
  • Allows us to focus more;
  • Gives us a healthy appetite;
  • A better social life;
  • Exercise is fun;
  • A natural energy boost;
  • Helps with anger and frustration issues.

I’m not sure how many of us will link exercise to mental health and vice versa, particularly when our focus of exercise is to make us look good. Exercise should always come secondary to our reasons for doing it.

Physical and mental health should be the uppermost thoughts in our mind, when it comes to exercise and not how we look.

13 Dec, 2015

6 thoughts on “Exercise and Mental Health

  1. I do notice that my mood improves after I exercise for a bit. I also like how certain exercises help me in stretching my muscles, which feels good if I have been tensed because of stress.

    I have noticed it helps me in having better balance, too. I believe it doesn’t hurt if we exercise to look good; it helps us with our self confidence.

    1. Thanks Maria. I agree with you and you’re right exercise does help with self-confidence and that’s great, but would just add not when we take exercise to the extreme, because then it becomes an obsession.

  2. Regular exercise helps manage anxiety related issues more than many people realize. When body marries the mind through proper diet and exercise, it can make a world of difference.

    Blogs like this keep me on my toes and reminds me of what I need to do.

  3. In addition to releasing those feel good Endorphins, the very act of exercising makes us feel good about ourselves. It brings about a sense of achievement for having done the exercise in the first place.

    I look forward to warmer and drier weather in the Spring, when I can start exercising outside again.

    1. Thank you. Yes the winter months can be long when we’re waiting to participate in exercise outside!

      The less exercise we do, the harder it is to get back into it. I agree that exercise changes the way we feel about ourselves. Even with the little amount I do, I always feel a sense of achievement and feel better about myself. I just wish I could do more.

      Exercise has a lot to do with mental health, but the sad reality for many of us is that we use is as a means of escapism, instead of using it to generally keep fit, we overextend ourselves in order to try to reach perfection and that can lead to conditions like OCD.

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