The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Witness the Fitness

Mental health issues are on the rise across the world, and in recent years, there has been a massive spike in people seeking treatment for mental health and a big push to remove the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

We have long been advocates for the above by supporting directly like Movember or indirectly like The Pyjama Foundation.

Traditional therapies for mental health issues include taking medication, self-management, mindfulness and therapy. Looking to Find A Psychologist remotely or visit our local go-to; Gray Mind Psychology for your mental health disorders can be highly beneficial, as can adding other beneficial options such as exercise.

Exercise has many benefits for both the body and mind, and studies have shown that there is a 20-30% lower chance of a person developing depression if they partake in daily exercise. But exercise isn’t just limited to joining a gym; there are many exercises you can do without the need for a gym membership if you so wish. Exercise includes walking, running, swimming, taking dance classes and anything else that involves moving your body.

Read on for some of the many benefits for your mental health from exercise.

Reduce Stress

Exercise allows you to release the stress you might be holding in your body and mind. If things are becoming overwhelming, taking time out to hit the gym or go for a walk can allow you to clear your mind and free yourself from your worries. As exercise boosts mental alertness, you can come back with a clear mind and focus, ready to tackle the issues causing your stress.


Exercise allows you to work through your responses to your fight or flight responses, allowing you to better control how you deal with situations that generally increase your stress level, such as anxiety, which can give you extreme reactions. Exercising regularly or even post-fight or flight triggers can give you a way to dispel the energy that comes with anxiety or stressful situations, allowing you to invoke calmness and relaxation. Try this guided meditation. It’s just 5min 😉

Better Sleep

The more exercise you get into your day, the better you will sleep. Not only will your body be sufficiently tired from the exercise, but exercise reduces levels of cortisol that can interfere with your sleeping patterns. By making sure you are active, you can tire the body and mind, and when you are better rested, you will experience improved mental clarity, which can help you feel better mentally.

Increased Good Mood

Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, meaning that you will naturally feel better when your brain is flooded with these chemicals. While these effects might be short-lived at first and come on post-exercise or activity where you have to push yourself physically, this will build up, and the mental health benefits will be longer lasting and more frequent. Like anything, this will take time to work towards and instate an instant cure for people struggling with mental health concerns, but it can be a practical part of a treatment programme to improve both the body and mind.

Exercise has many benefits for our bodies in different ways, from increased fitness and stamina levels to improved cardiovascular fitness and better mental health. You can improve your health by moving your body more and raising your heart rate for at least 30 minutes five times a week.