The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

By Tonny Wandella

People who exercise daily do so because it offers them a tremendous sense of well-being. They have more energy all through the day, sleep well at night, have clearer memories, and are more relaxed and optimistic about themselves and their life. It’s also an effective treatment for a variety of common mental health issues.

Exercise regularly can have a profoundly favourable effect on depression, anxiety, and even ADHD. It also reduces stress, enhances memory, promotes sleep, and improves your general mood. You don’t have to be a fitness enthusiast to gain the benefits. According to research, even small quantities of exercise can make a significant difference. You may learn to use exercise as a strong tool to deal with mental health issues, increase your energy and attitude, and get more out of life, regardless of your age or fitness level.

Exercise has been shown in studies to be as helpful as antidepressant medication in treating mild to moderate depression—without the adverse effects, of course. A recent Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study discovered that running for about 20 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduced the risk of severe depression by 26%. In addition to alleviating depression symptoms, research shows that sticking to an exercise routine can help you avoid relapsing.

Exercise is a safe and effective natural anti-anxiety medication. It reduces tension and stress, increases physical and mental vitality, and improves overall well-being by releasing endorphins. Something which gets you moving will help, but paying attention rather than zoning out can provide a greater benefit.

Regular exercise is one of the simplest and most effective strategies to minimise ADHD symptoms and improve focus, motivation, memory, as well as mood. Physical activity quickly increases dopamine, norepinephrine, plus serotonin levels in the brain, all of which influence focus and attention. In this regard, exercise functions similarly to ADHD drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall.

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