Benefits of exercise on mental health; best of 2023

The emotional, psychological, and social well-being are all parts of a person’s mental health. It influences the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Additionally, it influences how one respond to stress, interact with others, and make good decisions.  Every period of life, from childhood and adolescence to maturity, is vital for mental health.

According to the WHO, having a healthy mental state involves “more than just being free of mental illnesses or disabilities.” In order to achieve peak mental health, one must not only take care of acute illnesses but also maintain continuing wellbeing and happiness.

The importance of protecting and regaining mental health on a personal level as well as at the level of a community and society is also emphasized.

Poor mental health and mental illness are not the same things, despite the fact that the phrases are sometimes used synonymously. Even if they may not have a mental disorder, a person can have poor mental health. A person with a mental disease may also go through phases of good physical, mental, and social health.

Importance of mental health is very crucial and cannot be over emphasized because Both physical and mental health are necessary aspects of overall health.

For instance, depression raises the danger of many different physical health issues, especially chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In a similar vein, having chronic illnesses raises your likelihood of developing mental disease.

Exercise boost for mental health

Exercise boosts mental health by lowering anxiety, depression, and depressive symptoms, as well as by raising self-esteem and increasing cognitive abilities.

Additionally, it has been discovered that exercise helps with symptoms including social disengagement and low self-esteem. Exercise is crucial for schizophrenia patients because they are already at risk for obesity and because antipsychotic medication, particularly atypical antipsychotics, carries an added risk of weight gain.

Following a three-month physical conditioning regimen, schizophrenia patients reported improved weight management, enhanced fitness levels, exercise tolerance, lowered blood pressure, increased perceived energy, and increased upper body and hand grip strength levels.

For these health advantages, just thirty minutes of moderately intense activity, like brisk walking three days a week, is required.

Furthermore, these 30 minutes don’t have to be consecutive; three 10-minute walks are seen to be just as beneficial as one 30-minute one. It just needs to be a cultivated habit that a person needs to adapt to, not only to keep for physically but for the stable growth and stability of ones mental state.

Every mental health professional should emphasize and keep reminding their patients on the following health benefits of regular exercise, which includes:

  • Increased desire in sex
  • Better endurance with better sleep
  • stress reduction
  • Mood improvement
  • More vigor and endurance
  • Reduced fatigue that can boost mental clarity
  • reduction in weight
  • cholesterol levels are lower, and cardiovascular fitness is better

As a result, patients with severe mental illnesses can get effective, evidence-based physical exercise therapies from mental health service providers.

To comprehend the effects of integrating such therapies with conventional mental health treatments like psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, more research should be conducted.

Also they’re various kinds of exercises when dealing with different mental health cases. The following include:

Exercise for Depression cases

According to studies, exercise can treat mild to severe depression just as well as antidepressant medication, but without any negative side effects.

For instance, a recent study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discovered that walking for an hour or running for 15 minutes each day lowers the risk of serious depression by 26%. According to study, exercising regularly can help you avoid relapsing in addition to reducing the symptoms of depression.

For a number of reasons, exercise is a highly effective depression fighter. Most significantly, it encourages a variety of mental changes, including as neuronal development, decreased inflammation, and new activity patterns that foster emotions of peace and wellbeing. Endorphins, potent brain chemicals, are also released.

Exercise For Anxiety reduction

An efficient and all-natural anxiety cure is exercise. Through the endorphin release, it reduces tension and stress, increases physical and mental energy, and improves wellbeing. It remains one of the benefits of exercise on mental health.

Any activity that keeps a person moving might be beneficial, but if one pays more focus instead of drifting off, such individual would gain more.

Try to pay attention to small details, such as the sound of the person’s feet on the ground, the rhythm of ones breathing, or the sensation of the wind on the skin.

Such person would not only be in better physical shape faster by incorporating this mindfulness component into their workouts really paying attention to the body and how it feels—but one might also be able to stop the constant stream of anxieties that are going through their head.

Exercise for PTSD

There is evidence to support the idea that paying close attention to a person’s body and how it feels when exercising might really assist such person’s nervous system get “unstuck” and start to emerge from the immobility stress reaction that defines PTSD or trauma.

Instead of letting the thoughts wander, concentrate on the physical sensations the joints, muscles, and even the internal organs are experiencing as one move the body.

Some of the best options are cross-movement exercises that use both the arms and legs, like walking (especially in sand), running, swimming, weight training, or dancing.

PTSD symptoms have also been shown to improve with outdoor pursuits like hiking, sailing, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing (both cross-country and downhill).

Exercise for ADHD

Regular exercise is one of the simplest and most efficient strategies to lessen ADHD symptoms and enhance focus, motivation, memory, and mood.

Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain are all rapidly increased by physical exercise, which has an impact on focus and attention. In this way, exercise functions similarly to ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall.

FAQ( Frequently Asked Questions)

See below for the answers to the questions relating to benefits of exercise on mental health;

1. Which specialty physician should be contacted regarding mental health issues?

A counselor, clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist might be consulted for problems relating to mental health.

A counselor can be contacted for more common difficulties like self-esteem, relationship issues, anxiety, melancholy, work issues, and anger control. A professional psychologist or psychiatrist should be contacted for serious mental diseases such bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia.

Every mental disruption an individual might be facing would have the appropriate specialist that’ll be able to give the best preferred assistance and support in reversal whatever case it maybe.

2. How does exercise affect a person mental health?

Exercise can enhance mental health in a number of ways, including by reducing symptoms, elevating mood, increasing recovery rates, and lowering relapse risk.

It’s a very effective way to make an individual leave various mental state like depression, over thinking, etc. Apart from just normal body fitness exercises improves and boost a person’s outlook about themselves in general.

3. How can a person improve their mental health?

Fostering a positive outlook on life that is unconditionally accepting of oneself, others, and all aspects of it might help one’s mental health.

For some people, self-awareness as well as counseling and therapy might help them achieve this. In addition to these factors, learning new skills, engaging in leisure activities, practicing mindfulness, eating well, sleeping well, and exercising all help to maintain excellent mental health.

4. Can exercise cure mental health issues?

No, physical activity cannot heal mental illness. In more severe cases, counselling and drugs are advised as treatments for mental health issues. Exercise is not the primary treatment, but rather an additional intervention.

So it’s extremely important that a person doesn’t neglect his/her daily exercising routine. In cases were a patient isn’t in a critical health situation that’s life threatening, various mental exercises can be practiced, to reduce or reverse the issue before it gets worse.


Research over time has shown how important and necessary exercises play vital roles not just to the physical body, but also in the development and maintenance of the mental aspect. So in order for a person to live and sustain a healthy lifestyle it’s essential that people should allocate time in exercising daily.

An individual’s physical health, cognitive function, and psychological well-being may all improve with frequent physical activity.

Improvements in physical functioning, fitness, and overall quality of life are just a few of the physical advantages, but there are many more.

As a result, patients with severe mental illnesses can get effective, evidence-based physical exercise therapies from mental health service providers.

To comprehend the effects of integrating such therapies with conventional mental health treatments like psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, more research should be conducted.

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  2. Fogarty M, Happell B, Pinikahana J.. The benefits of an exercise program for people with schizophrenia: a pilot study. Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2004;28:173–176.

3.Guszkowska M.. Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood [in Polish] Psychiatr Pol. 2004;38:611–620.