Exercise for mental health

Exercise yields an abundance of benefits for the human body. Often exercise is associated with improving physical well-being, that is building strength and endurance to complete a specific task or rehabilitating from an injury or surgery. However, one of the more influential benefits of exercise is on the mind and improving or maintaining one’s mental health.

Within the clinical setting the benefits of physical activity on mental health are well known, unfortunately this is not the case within general populations. Beyond Blue state the primary benefits of exercise include:

  • Promotion of feel-good chemicals in the brain, including endorphins and serotonin
  • Improves sleep quality, therefore providing more energy throughout the day
  • Provides a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with completion of goals
  • Creates social engagement with others, as many social exercise groups exist

This is all easily said but creating action toward increasing your physically active on a daily basis can be daunting to begin. Here are a few places you can start:

  • Discussing with your local exercise physiologist who will help you develop a plan of action to steadily increase your physical activity
  • Discussing with your GP that you would like to start exercising and they can aid you in finding an appropriate health professional to help
  • Discussing with your friends and family, they might even want to start exercising with you

If you are ready to take the leap and begin exercising, please take it easy on yourself. It won’t be easy at first, but it will absolutely be worth it when you get into the routine of it!

If you would like to discuss this further, please reach out to one of our clinics and have a chat with one of our exercise physiologists.