How Physical Exercise Helps Improve Mental Health

The benefits of physical exercise are not just for the body but also for the brain. Exercise can improve your mental wellbeing. Let's take a look at the mental health benefits of physical exercise.

Exercise and Mental Health
Mental Health

Exercise and Mental Health: How Physical Exercise Helps Improve Mental Health

Physical exercise is essential for everyone. When you are young, your body and mind are in peak performance mode. But, as you grow, you tend to get lazy with all the tasks and activities you carry out every day. 

Exercise is a planned and repetitive physical activity to condition a body part. Mental health refers to an individual’s emotional, cognitive, and social well-being that tends to suffer at old age. It can be due to stress and insufficient motivation. 

The benefits of physical exercise are not just for the body but also for the brain. Hundreds of studies have documented the relationship between physical activity and mental health in the past decade. 

Read Here: Impact of Sports and Exercise on Mental Health

This article considers some of the ways physical exercise helps improve mental health:

Reduces stress

Physical exercise reduces stress
Physical exercise reduces stress

It is not a secret that emotional stress can lead to depression and other mental disorders. But, one can reduce emotional stress by engaging in physical exercise. Physical exercise helps produce endorphins, hormones that trigger positive feelings in the body. 

Endorphins interact with brain receptors to decrease the perception of pain. This interaction reduces stress levels. Endorphins also relieve anxiety, enhance mood, and promote a sense of calmness. 

Additionally, exercise increases body temperature, decreases anxiety, and calms nerves. Thus, improving sleep quality. Simple activities like walking after a stressful day can lower one’s blood pressure, promoting relaxation and good moods. Sleep is an essential ingredient of life. It helps you recuperate from the previous day and recharges you for the next.

Improves your mood

Physical exercise improves your mood
Physical exercise improves your mood

Physical exercise helps improve your mood. It accomplishes this feat by stimulating the release of endorphins. As discussed above, this hormone regulates our moods. 

Physical exercise effectively combats these emotions if you are tired after work or feel anxious about an upcoming event. 

This is because endorphins calm the mind and relieve stress that may be building up in the body. It also increases self-confidence since it helps boost self-esteem. This is true when one achieves a fitness goal, such as improving endurance or strength during a workout session.

Boosts energy

You might be tired after working out or playing any sport, but that doesn’t mean low energy levels. On the contrary, vigorous exercises like running or aerobics give you an energy boost. They make your heart stronger and enhance oxygen circulation to your brain. If you want to increase your appetite and muscle mass to match your new energy levels, consider incorporating strength training exercises. It will change your physique and help your body recover quicker after a workout.

It makes you feel happy.

Endorphins released during physical exercise will also make you feel happy. By reducing tension, anxiety, and stress, you will feel satisfied, relaxed, and happy afterward.

Improves memory

As one grows older, one may start to forget things. It may be the reason why most people are afraid of growing old. Fortunately, studies have proven that physical exercise can improve memory among adults who do regular exercise.

Workouts improve executive function and processing speed associated with increased learning ability. Aerobic exercises and resistance training increase the size of the hippocampus. It also increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain, preventing the destruction of neurons in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for learning, verbal memory, and improving cognitive function.

Improves social life

Physical exercise improves social life
Physical exercise improves social life

One effective way to improve mental health is improving your social life. What better way to do that than exercising? You are part of a community when you join a workout group or sign up for an exercise class. This makes it easy to meet people. 

When you are active in a group or with friends, you will feel more connected to others and experience greater satisfaction with life overall. This type of social activity reduces stress levels increases happiness and well-being. As well as having fun with others, when you exercise with friends, you also get a chance to catch up on the news! This will ease the worries or anxieties you may have.

A publication in the Journal of sport and exercise psychology found that people who exercised felt more connected after their workout than people who sat around watching television instead. Also, those who exercised reported feeling less lonely than those who didn’t exercise.

Reduces anxiety and depression

An ADAA stat reveals that anxiety disorders affect about 40 million Americans annually, or 18.1% of American adults. It shows that many Americans suffer from this condition, which is debilitating if left unchecked. 

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) affects about 3.3 million Americans every year! But can be treated in many ways, including drugs and other forms of therapy. But physical exercise presents an exciting alternative. Increasing the endorphin levels in the blood alleviates depression and anxiety, thus increasing happiness. 

Read Here: How to Improve Your Mental Health and Mood


As you have seen, physical exercise is good. It stimulates the secretion of chemicals that increase the level of feel-good hormones in your blood. Regular exercise reduces stress, depression, and anxiety, improves self-esteem, sleep, and memory. You will observe improvements in your mental health after some weeks of regular exercise.

Read Also: How to Stay Motivated to Exercise Regularly

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The Scientific World is a Scientific and Technical Information Network that provides readers with informative & educational blogs and articles. Site Admin: Mahtab Alam Quddusi - Blogger, writer and digital publisher.

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