How Fitness Helps With Mental Health

We all know that exercise is great for our body and can help improve our health and fitness levels. But do you know about the host of mental health benefits that comes with regular exercising?

Let's find out!

How Does Fitness Help With Mental Health?

Exercising regularly is not just about increasing your muscle size and strength and improving your aerobic capacity. While those are good enough reasons to start exercising regularly, they are not entirely what gets a person to stay active, show up and do the work. Most people exercise regularly because it gives them a colossal sense of being.

Exercising regularly is one of the most pivotal things you can do in your mental health journey. People who exercise regularly sleep better at night, feel more energetic throughout the day, feel more relaxed and positive, and have a sharper memory. Finding movement and regular exercising can play an important role in your mental well-being. According to research, exercising is also a powerful tool to improve the symptoms of many existing mental health challenges and illnesses.

Regular Exercising and Mental Health Conditions

Regularly exercising can have a profound impact on mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Mental health professionals have been known to sometimes prescribe exercise as a part of the treatment for certain mental health illnesses because of its various benefits. Let us understand some of the health benefits of exercise and fitness.

  1. Exercise and Anxiety and Stress: Regular exercising can help in relieving tension and stress, boost mental and physical energy, and enhance well-being by releasing endorphins. With the addition of mindfulness to movement by really focusing on the body and observing how it feels, one may be able to interrupt the flow of constant worries running through their head. It also helps in relaxing the muscles and relieving the tension in the body that has been accumulated because of stress.

  2. Exercise and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Exercising regularly can help improve concentration, memory, mood, and motivation and is one of the most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Doing physical activities immediately boosts the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain which affects one’s attention and focus positively.

  3. Exercise and Depression: Regularly exercising can be a powerful tool in working with depression. According to a study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by about 26%. Exercising promotes positive changes in the brain, including reduced inflammation, neural growth, new activity patterns that promote a feeling of calm and well-being.

  4. Exercise and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Focusing on your body, your physical sensations, and how it feels during exercise can help the nervous system in becoming unstuck and moving out of the immobilization stress response that characterizes trauma or PTSD.

How Exercise Promotes Positive Well-being

Movement and exercising have a lot to offer whether you’re mentally healthy or not. It has been found to increase energy levels, enhance mood, improve concentration and focus, promote quality sleep, and instill an overall sense of well-being. The reasons may include:

  • Regular exercising decreases stress hormones such as cortisol and increases your body’s “feel-good” chemicals.
  • Physical activity helps take your mind off negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Physical activity is linked to lower physiological reactivity towards stress.
  • Exercising can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong.

You do not have to be a fitness freak to reap the benefits of exercising. Research indicates that even small amounts of exercising can make a difference. No matter where you are in your fitness journey, you can learn to make use of this powerful tool in promoting your mental health, physical health, and your overall well-being.

Working with a professional can be very helpful in your quest to exercise regularly. Looking to work on your fitness? Check out our MSF Transformation Plans and get custom made diet and workout plans designed as per your current fitness level, dietary preferences, unique lifestyle, budget, and health and fitness goals.