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How Exercise Can Improve Mental Health

Feeling a little blue? Exercise can help with that! Check out the list below with ways that exercise improves mental health, and then come by the gym to get moving!

Regular exercise can: - Reduce fatigue and provide an energy burst. You can get this benefit by exercising for at least 15 minutes at a time. Exercise intensity can range from low – high intensity, and you’ll still experience an energy boost. Next time you hit that afternoon lull, skip the extra cup of coffee. Instead, get moving for at least 15 minutes, and see how much better you feel!

- Alleviate mild to moderate long-term depression. Whether you run, lift weights, practice Tai Chi & Yoga, or shake it out in Zumba, sometimes just getting your blood pumping is enough to fight off symptoms of depression. While exercise is not a cure-all for depression, the endorphins released by your brain after a workout can leaving you feeling better than you did before your workout.

- Improve sleep quality. A routine exercise regimen can help you to get a more restful and deeper sleep. Being physically active requires you to expend energy, and helps you feel more tired and ready to rest at the end of the day.

- Release built up stress. While many people will use a particularly hard work out to alleviate stress, lower intensity workouts can also be especially beneficial at reducing stress. Workouts like yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi combine breath control with slow, controlled movements and meditative movement. The combination of the breath with focus on movement intention is a wonderful way to clear your head and melt away stress.

- Reduce symptoms of anxiety. Who hasn’t felt the crippling effects of anxiety and wanted a way to make it all go away? While exercise can’t take away the problems we face every day, it can help us respond better to the stressors around us. Exercise does this by diverting our attention away from whatever is bother us, by releasing feel-good endorphins, reducing unnecessary muscle tension, and by improving our ability to respond to threats- whether they’re real or imagined.

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