Mental health and the benefits of exercise

Categories:   Nutrition

Mental health and the benefits of exercise

Regular exercise is not only about physical fitness, psychiatrists and medical professionals say it can also help to improve your mental health and sense of wellbeing.


And trust me, having just come through the other side from depression and anxiety and finally stop all medication I agree fitness, if you can start and with support is awesome.

According to psychological research regular exercise seems to have a positive effect on chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, both of which are linked to feelings of wellbeing. It also releases endorphins (our “happiness chemicals”), helps new brain cells to grow and develop and can reduce harmful changes in the brain caused by stress.

The positive benefits of exercise on mental health include helping to sharpen the memory, boost our creativity and to get more done.

We can also manage stress better and exercise helps to remove the physical symptoms of stress, such as insomnia, heartburn, stomach-ache, diarrhoea, or frequent urination.

We sleep better and have more energy, our self-confidence improves and, if the psychological research is correct about exercise helping new brain cells to grow, it is likely to play a part in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Perhaps the biggest impact of exercise for improving mental health is the effect it can have in reducing anxiety and depression.

It has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of reducing the symptoms of ADHD by improving concentration, motivation, memory, and mood and for those dealing with and PTSD and trauma exercise helps your nervous system become “unstuck” and begin to move out of the immobilization stress response that characterizes both conditions.

According to http://helpguide.org outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing (downhill and cross-country) have also been shown to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.

The NHS advice on stress also highlights the positive benefits of exercise:

“Mental wellbeing means feeling good – both about yourself and about the world around you. It means being able to get on with life in the way you want.

“Evidence shows that there is a link between being physically active and good mental wellbeing.”

So, what are you waiting for?  If you want to feel happier and more able to cope why not talk to me about an exercise programme that can help you to achieve all this.