11 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

You are going through a hard time right now.

Or you have gone through stressful situations in the recent past.

To be honest, statistically speaking you will have a mental illness struggle in some fashion some point in your life.

Exercise can help you get through this.

It will help you prepare for the hard times to come.

Daily fitness is a key component for managing stress and feeling overwhelmed.

Here are eleven ways exercise can help improve your mental health.

Medicine Ball Wood Chop

Exercise Controls Weight / Creates Weight Loss

Exercise defined by Google Dictionary.

"activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness."

By doing this action daily, the first and foremost benefit that occurs is the expenditure of calories. Our whole 24 hour period in a day can be whittled down to caloric intake/output.

Calorie defined by Google Dictionary 

"A calorie is a measure of energy expenditure and stored energy. The calories referred to in diet (calories eaten) and exercise (calories burned) are kilocalories (kcal)"

By putting your effort into exercising daily, will burn the excessive calories we intake during the day through non-vital foods to live.

  • Donuts

  • Ice cream

  • That extra slice of pizza

  • The bag of chips at 11 pm watching your guilty pleasure on tv

When you can burn more calories than you intake, you put your body into a calorie deficit.

Putting yourself into a calorie deficit in a routine will lead to weight loss.

  • More than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.

  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.

  • Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight people.

*2016 Worldwide Statistics


Exercise Combats Health Conditions And Disease

Being fit is a fiddle is something the majority of us strive for, and that could happen without having a regular exercise routine to follow at this time. The thing with disease and health conditions, no one ever knows what tomorrow will bring.

There is an innate fear that the majority of us have.

Tomorrow might be the day something occurs in our lives that will change it forever.

  • A Stroke

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • High blood pressure

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Cancer

I'm sure I missed a few hundred others. 

The thing is there is a far greater chance of NOT getting these when exercise becomes part of your life.

Medicine Ball Squat

Exercise Improves Mood

Angry at your boss?

Frustrated with your significant other?

Pissed off at yourself for doing the exact thing you said you wouldn't do?

Feeling low for the seventh day in a row, but feel capable being out in public?

Life gives us these less than desired moods daily. If we don't do something to help improve them, we can be in store for a long day of depression. 

"When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine."

A positive and healthy feeling that is similar to morphine.... MORPHINE

That's straight from WebMD!!!

You don't need to hit the gym like Connor Mcgregor to make that happen. A steady walk through your local park for 60 minutes is the entry-level action to get this powerful kick of positive feelings and reduce stress.


Exercise Boosts Confidence

When all these changes happen to your body like fat loss, muscles growing, and endorphins kicking in at a more frequent rate. Your perceived views of yourself begin to change.

Clothes start fitting differently, a little tighter here and a little looser there for the positive.

Friends and family begin conversations by asking you if something has changed " You look different, have you lost weight?"

When you walk into a room, you walk with confidence. There is a new sense of pride in what you have been working so damn hard for the last months.

Single Arm  Kettlebell Swing

Exercise Boosts Energy

The act of getting in a sixty-minute workout releases a lot of chemicals in our body that does not show up any other way. These will help your energy levels outside of the gym, as well as the day goes on. 

However, with fitness, there are a lot of areas that occur as a 3rd party positive contribution to your success in life. 

  • Pushing yourself hard in a workout makes your lungs and heart work harder. Over time they grow in volume and strength, which will allow you to push your body can through a typical day more comfortably. Don't be shy to push yourself to the point you are deep breathing to catch-up.

  • Daily exertion will lead to breaking down your body regularly. Sleep is the catalyst to repair ourselves. What will come is more deep-rooted and potentially more protracted sleep, allowing yourself to feel more rested when you wake up. Better rest will attribute to having more energy in a day.


Exercise Promotes Better Sleep

I'm sure you have had many types of sleep. 

The kind where you wake up every hour on the hour. 

The sleep that takes ninety-five minutes to come, as you lay patiently in your bed staring up at the ceiling, pondering what the meaning of life is.

That cruel sleep that feels like it ended 30 minutes after it started, having your alarm going off and wondering how in the world is it already 6 AM.

A daily exercise plan can change your sleep from one or all of those to a long deep undisturbed slumber. Physical activity pushes the body into this level of sleep, these sleeps are when we repair the best. 

Deep sleep also helps to boost immune function, cardiac support, and control stress levels with anxiety.

Medecine Ball Throw

Exercise Promotes Better Eating Habits

When you commit to a regular fitness routine, there is a switch that occurs. 

" If I'm going to do this, then I'm going to do it right and make it worth my time." 

Why would you intentionally sabotage yourself of success?

Eating healthy food is symbiotic with physical fitness. As the old saying goes, " You can't out-train a bad diet."


Exercise For A Better Sex Life

Regular exercise helps bring back the energy to your day and can give you that bump you have been missing in the evening. 

Men finding their libido is low and not getting aroused as often as they used to is not a random thing as we age. It is also something that can quickly occur with anxiety and depression.

The ability to workout daily will automatically start your body, creating more testosterone than your sedentary lifestyle produced. Keeping with your exercise plan will help your energy and sexual desires over time.


Exercise Can Be A Good Way To Socialize

With all the technological advances we have available to use, there is a significant disconnect with human to human interaction. This disconnect is becoming a more prominent area that attributes to depression and anxiety. Exercising is a community orientated part of life where you can partake with others like you.

  • Fitness classes

  • Yoga studio

  • Intramural league

  • Cross-fit box

  • Dance class

  • Spin Class

  • Boot-camp


How To Get The Most Of Your Mental Health Exercise

Talking about wanting to start an exercise routine is one thing, but knowing how to do it effectively is far harder. That is why I created this blog.

11 Steps To Successfully Start Exercising For Mental Health

Like adding any new routine to your life, there needs to be patience.

If you take it one day at a time, I promise you that your goals of feeling better about yourself will occur over time.