Mental Health and Exercise: The Benefits of Fitness for the Mind

According to the CDC, only 22.9% of Americans actually get the amount of exercise that they should.

Even though that number is so low, there are still so many benefits for exercise, especially for those who struggle with a mental illness. 

Exercise is great for your body. But what about mental health and exercise? Fitness has many benefits for your mind. Here are a few of them.


Studies have proven that mental health and exercise actually pair really well together, especially for depression.

In one study, it showed that exercise may even work the same as an anti-depressant for moderate depression. Except with exercise, there are no side effects. 

Exercise works for depression because it helps make changes in your brain. Exercise promotes the growth of neurons. That combined with new activity patterns can help you feel more calm and happy.

Exercise also releases endorphins which helps make you feel happy and energized, which is the main thing people with depression struggle with. 


Exercise can also help relieve anxiety. It can actually relieve stress and tension which is what fuels the anxiety sometimes. 

Any exercise will help with this obviously, but you should try and pay attention to your workout rather than letting your mind wander. Your mind will thank you later.

Exercise can help your anxiety by being a sense of calm and quiet in a world of business. For example, if you swim, being underwater will help cancel out all the noise from the rest of the world, and you will also get a break from your phone for a few hours. 

This can make all the difference in the world. 


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can also be minimized with regular exercise. 

By focusing on your body and how it interacts with the exercise, you can actually aid your nervous system in getting out of the cycle of PTSD. You can start to move out of being triggered by certain things by paying attention to your body during a workout. 

For example, if you go for a run, you should pay attention to how your joints interact. How your feet feel against the pavement with each step. 

Exercise that incorporates your arms and your legs, like running, are the best workouts to help battle PTSD.

Self Esteem

Lastly, exercise can also help you feel better about yourself and have more confidence. 

When you finally get to the point where exercising is a habit for you, you will start to feel better about yourself, both inside and out. 

Not only will your body show the results of all the hard work you’ve put into it, but you will also feel like you’ve accomplished something. You will have something to work on, a goal. 

This can be very instrumental and motivating especially when dealing with mental illness. Each time you reach one of your fitness goals, make a new one and then work towards that. 

Exercise is a neverending journey, but it is rewarding to see the benefits. 

Enjoy the Benefits of Mental Health and Exercise

There are so many benefits of mental health and exercise. 

It can be difficult at first to start a new habit, but once you get into the routine of it and start to see results, you won’t be able to stop doing it. 

If you don’t believe us, read this article to learn even more about the benefits of exercise.


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