Exercise Mental Health

Every day, research reveals new ways exercise and proper nutrition make us healthier.  It is now clear that it takes only small to moderate amounts of exercise to improve both physical and mental health. Even better than medication in many cases, regular physical activity can significantly improve mental health and lesson the symptoms of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Panic disorder

This is exciting news!  Studies show that no matter what your age, exercise can enhance mental wellness.  Even better, there is no need for any special type of exercise.  Aerobic and Anaerobic exercise are equally effective at improving mental well-being.  Exercise works, you just have to do it.

Consistency is key.  Even shorter bouts of physical activity a few times a week can significantly lower the risk of depression.  Ideally, studies show that the strongest benefits come from exercise lasting between 30 and 60 minutes, three to five times each week.  But, don’t overdo it.  More is not necessarily better.  Researchers have also found that exercise sessions lasting longer than 90 minutes are associated with worse mental health outcomes.

Approximately one-third of the U.S adult population will experience some form of mental health disorder at some point in their lives.  So, if you or someone you know suffers from depression, anxiety, stress, or panic disorders, physical activity can provide an easy, fun, and inexpensive solution.  For those struggling with getting to the gym or “getting in shape”, perhaps a better reason to exercise is the desire to enjoy life and be happy!

One final note:  Many people want to exercise and eat well, but struggle with doing so.  While it is not difficult, it is important to find the right level and type of exercise and to make good eating choices.  When you choose the exercise program that is right for you, physical activity is safe, fun, and effective.  But, you should avoid exercise programs that are so difficult that you dread going.  You should also avoid dieting.  You simply need to exchange unhealthy, highly processed foods for healthy, clean versions of foods you already eat.  There is no need to give up the foods you love!  Pizza, hamburgers, and hotdogs are okay!  Like life, living a healthy lifestyle should be easy and enjoyable!

2019-06-05T23:44:45+00:00