How can exercise help mental health?

Mental health is a topic that is often shrouded in mystery and misconception. But the truth is, mental health has a lot to do with our physical health – our body and mind are interconnected, after all. That’s why it’s so important to keep your mind and body healthy, and one way to do that is by exercising!

The Basics of Exercise and Mental Health

Physical activity has many benefits for mental health, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood and sleep quality, and promoting feelings of well-being. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), regular physical activity can also help reduce the risk of developing depression, anxiety disorders, chronic pain, obesity, and other chronic health conditions. Here are some key facts about exercise and mental health:

1. Exercise has been shown to be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, research suggests that people who are physically active tend to have lower levels of stress hormones in their blood than those who are inactive. This is likely because exercise releases endorphins – chemicals that have mood-lifting properties – in your brain.

2. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and sleep quality. In fact, a 2014 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychology found that people who exercised regularly were more likely to report feeling happier and more relaxed than those who didn’t exercise. And another study published in Psychological Reports found that aerobic exercise improved sleep quality in older adults by increasing slow-wave sleep (the type of sleep associated with increased cognitive performance) and decreasing nighttime awakenings.

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Types of Exercise that May Benefit Mental Health

There are many different types of exercise that can benefit mental health, and everyone’s experience with exercise is different. Here are a few specific exercises that may be beneficial for mental health:

-Exercise that involves movement and breathing, such as yoga or Pilates, can help increase flexibility and range of motion. These types of exercises can also help reduce stress and anxiety.

-Regular aerobic exercise can improve mood and decrease anxiety and depression symptoms. Aerobic exercise can also increase feelings of well-being, improve cognitive function, and reduce stress hormones.

-Weightlifting can improve mood by increasing feelings of fitness and self-confidence. It can also help build muscle mass, which can reduce feelings of fatigue and increase energy levels.

How Much Exercise is Enough?

Many people believe that more exercise is better for mental health. However, the amount of exercise necessary to improve mental health is still a topic of debate. The American Psychological Association (APA) has stated that moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, is beneficial for mood and stress relief. However, research suggests thatintensity, duration, and type of exercise are just as important as how much you exercise when it comes to improving mental health. So how much exercise is enough? The answer depends on your goals and fitness level. If you are just starting out, aiming for 30 minutes per day is a good place to start. If you are more active, aim for 60 minutes or more per day.

What to Do if You Have Mental Health Issues While Exercising

If you’re struggling with mental health issues, it can be tough to find the motivation to exercise. But, exercise can be an essential part of treating your mental health condition. Here are six ways exercise can help improve your mental health:


It’s no secret that exercise can have a positive impact on your mental health. A recent study published in The Lancet Psychiatry found that people who exercised for 60 minutes or more three times per week had a 40% lower risk of developing depression, compared to those who didn’t exercise at all. If you’re struggling with feeling down sometimes, investing in some healthy habits like regular exercise might just be the push you need to feel better again.