How Exercising Affects Your Mental Health

The physical benefits of exercising are well-known at this point. What about the mental health benefits? How are exercise and mental health linked? Read more from Rico Cox, a seasoned fitness professional

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

When people think of exercise, they tend to think about the benefits it has on a person’s physical health. However, exercise is beneficial to your mental health as well. This is because physical health and mental health are linked. The status of your physical health affects the state of your mental health and vice versa. So, if you are looking to make a positive impact on your mental health, you should start exercising more often.

The benefits of exercise on mental health

Exercise helps with a wide variety of psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, etc. It can improve your sleep, your memory, and your mood. Exercise can also be an effective treatment for milder forms of depression. It also helps relieve stress by easing the tension in your muscles and releasing endorphins in your brain. Exercise has been found to improve attention in people with ADHD. The positive impact of training on mental health is undeniable.

How much should you exercise?

Harvard suggests that doctors prescribe 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise a day. However, the important thing is that you get any exercise at all, even if it is not much. If you are not used to exercising, you should exercise only a little at first and work your way up to lengthier and more intense routines. You should still get the same benefits from even a tiny amount of exercise.

Where to exercise?

Exercise wherever you feel most comfortable. If you are most at peace at the park, you should exercise there. You do not even have to leave your home to exercise. It can all be done in your living room. Exercise is supposed to help your brain relax, and it can not do that if your social anxiety is making you feel stressed out about being watched at the gym or your agoraphobia makes you afraid to leave home. You can combine exercise with other mental health treatments, too. If you are agoraphobic, for instance, you could exercise outside to get exposure therapy from training as well.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


9 Benefits to Exercising That’s a Win For You

by Dr. Tola T'Sarumi
Exercise to relieve stress

How Exercise Can Help Manage Stress

by Matt Boyle
Person with lights overhead, representing mental illness

Why Taking Care of Your Mental Health is Important

by Joe G.
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.