How to Maximize the Mental Health Benefits of Exercise


Physical activity provides your body with numerous physical and mental benefits. It improves your heart, bones, and joints health, among others. Changing how you view physical activity is essential to reap its benefits. Exercise does not mean going to the gym or doing sports.

You can engage in different physical activities in the comfort of your home or while running regular daily errands. You can incorporate several activities into your routine to remain active for your mental well-being. The following guide will show you how to maximize the mental health benefits of exercise.

What is Physical Activity?

Physical activity is any body movement that requires energy to move muscles. Since there are activities that almost everyone can do, you will always have one to engage in. Experts recommend that adults exercise for not less than 75 minutes each week. You can choose activities to do moderate or vigorous exercises. Furthermore, you may spend time swimming, and walking, among other activities. Any activity that increases your heart rate and makes your body feel warm is exercise.

What is Mental Health?

You have good mental health if you have behavioral, cognitive, and emotional well-being. Although it may not have one definition, it comprises things such as:

  • Ability to appreciate oneself and have functional relationships
  • Ability to cope with life’s challenges and find the best from opportunities that arise
  • Feeling connected to the community
  • Ability to control one’s life
  • Ability to feel cared for and have a purpose

You need to understand that mental well-being doesn’t mean that you won’t experience pain and negative experiences. You will still experience things that rob your joy, such as loss, grief, and failure. However, exercising at whichever age can improve your mental health and well-being.

The Benefits of Exercise on Mental Health

Physical activities contribute significantly to our mental health and well-being. For example, you can increase mental alertness, mood, and energy by taking a brisk walk around the block or a long hike through the forest. Regular exercise can contribute to anxiety, and stress reduction and boost your self-esteem. Additionally, it can prevent the buildout of mental health issues. It can also make people having mental health issues lead better lives.

Benefits on Mood

Health experts believe that exercise plays a significant role in our mood. From research conducted by experts, the participants felt calmer, more cheerful, and satisfied after engaging in physical activity. They concluded that engaging in low-intensity exercises for three to five days each week for three months increased the participants’ positive mood.

Stress Reduction Benefits

When experiencing stress, our bodies may experience physical discomfort and make us behave abnormally. In addition, we may experience more intense emotions. Some of the main notable signs are sweating and loss of appetite, and sleep due to stress. Stress causes a rise in the heart rate and blood pressure and makes the body ready to respond to an emergency.

Stress can also cause a reduction in blood flow to the skin and normal stomach activities. However, exercise helps in relieving stress. According to research, active working adults experience less stress than less active people.

Benefits to Our Self-esteem

Physical activities not only benefit our physical well-being but also increase our self-esteem. Self-esteem is the belief that you have in yourself. It indicates the state of mental well-being and the ability to cope with life challenges. However, exercise plays a significant role in influencing our self-esteem and happiness.

Anxiety and Depression Reduction Benefits

Unfortunately, many people struggle with anxiety and depression without realizing it. There are eight different types of depression, meaning not everyone experiences it the same way. The same goes for the ways we process and cope with stress and anxiety.

While treatment for anxiety and depression can be varied as the conditions themselves, there’s one seemingly universal method of alleviation. Doctors can’t yet explain how or why, but study after study shows exercise to be a beneficial mood booster and perennial antidote to anxiety. One theory is intense exercise acts as a reset mechanism for the brain.

Exercise can also reduce anxiety levels in individuals having mild signs. It may also be a great way to treat clinical anxiety. Endorphins are chemicals released by the brain during physical activity. They interact with the brain receptors and produce positive feelings. Endorphins also can reduce pain perception. Regular physical activity can help to increase the production of endorphins and, as a result, improve our mood and overall sense of well-being.

You can get several benefits from exercise. You will enjoy having a healthy heart, bones, and joints. You will also have improved mental health from different physical activities. Everyone can engage in physical activities since it has little or no costs attached. You can use exercise to support self-management and have better well-being.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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2 years ago

Nice Post

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2 years ago

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“Physical activities contribute significantly to our mental health and well-being” This seems correct. Sometimes it’s easy to lose control and get mad

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